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Recommendations for OER Integration in Austrian Higher Education



Open Educational Resources (OER) are considered an important instrument to increase access and to facilitate the reuse of learning content. Educational institutions, especially those in Higher Education, play a crucial role in the production of OER, since they are the main producers of learning materials. To foster this production, a national strategy or at a least a national commitment to OER is necessary. Moreover, due to the very strict copyright law in Austria, this achievement is of high importance and necessity. In this publication, we will introduce recommendations for the integration of OER in all Higher Education institutions in Austria; these were developed by a national workgroup consisting of different stakeholders (government, library, funder, Higher Education and special interest groups). The overall aim is to achieve sustainability for the educational sector, especially with regard to the usage of learning materials by different lecturers as well as institutions. The cooperation among various stakeholders on different levels needs to be in the centre of all further efforts, which should be based upon six explicit requirements: 1. Mandatory commitment to OER 2. Establishment of a nationwide information platform for exchange and cooperation 3. Establishment of nationwide educational programmes for different stakeholders 4. Establishment of national OER badges 5. Targeted financial and structural promotion of OER 6. Establishment of OER strategies within each institution and as a comprehensive approach Each requirement will be described in more detail and a roadmap will illustrate how OER can be successfully integrated at Higher Education institutions in the next ten years.
Recommendations for OER Integration in Austrian Higher Education
Martin Ebner
Educational Technology, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Michael Kopp
University of Graz, Austria
Christian F. Freisleben-Teutscher
University of Applied Sciences St. Pölten, Austria
Ortrun Gröblinger
University of Innsbruck, Austria
Katharina Rieck
Austrian Science Fund, Austria
Sandra Schön
Salzburg Research, Austria
Peter Seitz
Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Austria
Maria Seissl
University of Vienna, Austria
Sabine Ofner
Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Austria
Claudia Zimmermann
University of Graz, Austria
Charlotte Zwiauer
University of Vienna, Austria
Published in: Ebner, M., Kopp, M., Freisleben-Deutscher, C., Gröblinger, O., Rieck, K., Schön, S., Seitz, P,
Seissl, M., Ofner, S., Zimmermann, C., Zwiauer, C. (2016) Recommandations for OER Integration in
Austrian Higher Education. In: Conference Proceedings: The Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education
Conference, EADTU 2016, pp. 34-44
Open Educational Resources (OER) are considered an important instrument to increase access and to
facilitate the reuse of learning content. Educational institutions, especially those in Higher Education, play a
crucial role in the production of OER, since they are the main producers of learning materials. To foster this
production, a national strategy or at a least a national commitment to OER is necessary. Moreover, due to
the very strict copyright law in Austria, this achievement is of high importance and necessity.
In this publication, we will introduce recommendations for the integration of OER in all Higher Education
institutions in Austria; these were developed by a national workgroup consisting of different stakeholders
(government, library, funder, Higher Education and special interest groups). The overall aim is to achieve
sustainability for the educational sector, especially with regard to the usage of learning materials by
different lecturers as well as institutions. The cooperation among various stakeholders on different levels
needs to be in the centre of all further efforts, which should be based upon six explicit requirements:
1. Mandatory commitment to OER
2. Establishment of a nationwide information platform for exchange and cooperation
3. Establishment of nationwide educational programmes for different stakeholders
4. Establishment of national OER badges
5. Targeted financial and structural promotion of OER
6. Establishment of OER strategies within each institution and as a comprehensive approach
Each requirement will be described in more detail and a roadmap will illustrate how OER can be
successfully integrated at Higher Education institutions in the next ten years.
Keywords: Open Educational Resources, white paper, national strategy
1. Introduction
In 2002, the UNESCO announced its initiative “Free Educational Resources”, and the UNESCO International
Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) thus endorsed “Open Educational Resources (OER)” in the explicit
“wish to develop together a universal educational resource available for the whole of humanity, to be
referred to henceforth as Open Educational Resources” (D’Antoni, 2006). The initial idea was to provide
open educational material to anyone, worldwide. One of the first OER milestones was the start of the “MIT
OpenCourseWare” in 2002, hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Nowadays, the MIT
provides a huge repository of lecture recordings, videos and further educational content (Lerman et al.,
2008). In 2007, the questionnaire about OER of the OECD and a first review about the growing OER
movement by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation drew attention to the new, but quickly growing
initiative (Atkins et al., 2007). OLCOS and Bazaar, two OER projects co-financed by the European
Commission, started in the same year, followed by the Open University in the United Kingdom and their
platform “OpenLearn” (Lane, 2008). It should be noted that even though the OER movement began more
than 10 years ago, it still has not quite reached the broad public.
In this publication, we would like to illustrate today’s situation regarding OER in Austria with a special focus
on Higher Education. We start with an introduction of OER as well as the very strict copyright law in Austria.
Afterwards, we present the conclusions reached by a stakeholder group focused on OER that published its
recommendations in a white paper (Ebner et al., 2016c).
2. Use and production of Open Educational Resources (OER)
In Central Europe, especially in German-speaking countries, a very strict copyright law protects the rights of
artists, musicians and authors. Obviously, the intention is to preserve their intellectual property, yet this
law also applies when such content is used for educational purposes. We would like to give a short
example: If a lecturer produces content for a lecture and provides it to the students (maybe even digitally
via any Learning Management System), students are not allowed to use it in any way other than for their
personal learning process. In other words, any form of reuse, sharing or even saving the content on another
information system constitutes a criminal offence. As a result, every single student needs to get personal
permission from the author to use the content in any way that goes beyond the read-only mode. There are
also several other scenarios in which the concerns for infringements of the copyright law complicate or
constrain the process of teaching.
Open Educational Resources could provide a solution to this problematic situation Since they are available
for free, they are of high value for educational purposes. “Open” according to Ebner & Schön (2011) means
that educational content
is available for free
is usable for free (can be changed or remixed) and
is licensed with an open licence.
Geser (2007) compiled a list in 2007 about what the benefits of OER will be:
1. OER offer a broad range of subjects and topics to choose from, so this will lead to more flexibility in
using materials for teaching and learning
2. OER will help to save time in the long run due to the possibility of reuse
3. OER will help to increase the value of educational content
4. OER will assist collaboration and cooperation as well as innovation (Ebner et al., 2016a)
5. OER will support user-centred learning.
2.1 Types of OER licences
As mentioned above, any kind of OER is not only freely available but must also hold an open licence. There
are different varieties of open licensing, but the most well-known worldwide are the “Creative Commons
licences”, or shortly “CC-licences”. The most obvious advantage of those licences is that they are available
in many countries and respect the national laws. Furthermore, CC allows for the combination of different
options by the author:
BY: In the case of reuse of the content, the author has to be named.
ND (“no derivation”): The content must not be changed in any case.
NC (“non-commercial”): The content must not be used for commercial purposes.
SA (“share alike”): The new, remixed content must be shared with the same origin licence.
A well-known example is the licence of the popular encyclopaedia Wikipedia, which is distributed under CC
BY-SA 4.0. In general the licences CC BY, CC 0 and CC BY-SA should be used in the sense of OER.
2.2 OER in Higher Education
The use of OER in Higher Education is of high interest, even though there are many known problems (Ebner
et al., 2016b). Nevertheless, a cutting edge study conducted in the German-speaking countries of Europe
(Ebner et al., 2015) pointed out that universities are the biggest producers of educational content in
comparison to other educational sectors (primary, secondary and adult education). The authors also stated
that this high output of content is mostly due to a lack of appropriate books and handouts. In other words,
many of today’s lecturers prepare their own teaching materials. So it would seem that there is a reasonable
chance for OER to be established directly by the producers themselves.
3. OER in Austria’s Higher Education System
First experiences with digital educational content in Austrian Higher Education were gathered around the
turn of the millennium, supported by the Federal Ministry of Science with essential funding. With the
fostering of e-learning as the overarching goal, funding was also contingent on the promotion of the reuse
of teaching and learning materials. As a result, the reuse of such materials was encouraged in a total of 49
projects (Ebner et al., 2015). These early steps can be seen as a first attempt to integrate OER in Higher
Education. During the last ten years, several OER flagship projects within Austrian Higher Education
institutions followed. Some pathbreaking initiatives deserve to be mentioned here:
In 2005, the University of Klagenfurt introduced the so called “OpenCourseWare” as part of its institutional
strategy. Modelled after the OpenCourseWare project of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the
University of Klagenfurt made courseware freely accessible by using Creative Commons licences.
Unfortunately, this project is no longer active due to financial restrictions.
Probably the first university in the German speaking region in Europe, the Graz University of Technology
published a distinct institutional OER strategy in 2010 (Ebner & Stöckler-Penz, 2010). In cooperation with
Salzburg Research, this university also edited the first textbook on teaching and learning with technologies
as an OER in 2011. The second edition was published in 2013, and this textbook is generally considered the
first one of its kind in the German speaking region (Ebner et al., 2014).
In 2013, an international consortium (including the Graz University of Technology) offered the first open
online course about OER, named “COER13” (Arnold et al., 2015). More than 1,000 participants enrolled for
the course, which shows that there is a lot of interest for this topic. Due to its great success, the course was
subsequently offered on two additional occasions. One principal component of the course was the so-
called “OER cheat sheet” that was created for school teachers and offers a good overview of how to use
and produce OER using Creative Commons licences.
Since 2014, the University of Graz and the Graz University of Technology have run their own platform for
massive open online courses (MOOCs), which is called “iMooX” (Kopp & Ebner, 2015). All course materials
offered on the platform are available under Creative Commons licences and can be reused and modified.
University lecturers as well as school teachers are able to make full use of it. Since this is a rather unique
initiative, the MOOC-platform is under the patronage of UNESCO.
Other Austrian universities have also begun to recognise the advantages of OER: For example, the Johannes
Kepler University Linz offers a freely available learning software in mathematics named “GeoGebra”, which
is used worldwide. The Technical University in Vienna established a platform that provides free educational
materials concerning the topics “renewable energy” and “energy efficient buildings”. Additionally, Austria
already hosted two conferences on OER: the first one was initiated in 2008 by Salzburg Research, the
second one was organised in 2011 by a consortium of universities located in the Austrian province of Styria.
The projects mentioned above indicate that a vivid OER community within the Austrian Higher Education
institutions already exists. However, at the moment this community is mostly driven by a few pioneers. As a
result, OER are not (yet) an integral part of academic teaching. There are several reasons: First of all, the
use and the production of OER comes down to motivation. Many academics still refrain from using
educational materials that they have not produced themselves, because they believe that these materials
do not have sufficient quality and/or do not fit the needs of their specific teaching situation.
Simultaneously, educational materials are often considered the property of the producers. Academics
invest a lot of time and effort in producing their teaching content, so many of them do not want others do
use their materials.
In addition to personal reasons, the motivation to use and produce OER also depends on the conditions
created by the universities. Suitable labour contracts that encourage an enabling environment for the use
and production of OER are helpful, as is the establishment of a common spirit to share and reuse the
materials of colleagues. This means that fostering OER is primarily a task for the management level at
universities. Academics need to be informed about the potential of OER, they need to be trained to use und
produce OER and they need a supporting environment where the use and production of OER is appreciated
and honoured.
The production of OER is time-consuming and costly. In addition to proper working conditions, the
financing of OER activities thus plays an important role. Since Austrian universities do not levy tuition fees,
higher education is predominantly financed by the government. In this context, the relevant ministries have
become increasingly aware of their responsibilities. Several OER projects have been co-financed by the
Federal Ministry of Education, including applications for mobile devices, schoolbooks and guides on how to
use and produce OER (Baumgartner et al., 2016). The Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy,
which is responsible for the higher education sector, has so far concentrated their funding on open access
activities (which are at least technically closely related to OER) (Bauer et al., 2015). It was also the
Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy that initiated the OER white paper for Higher Education
institutions, which is the basis for this paper.
In order to meet the challenge of transferring OER activities from project status to regular operation, it
seems the next step would be to address the potentials of OER and to develop a strategic approach to
integrate OER in academic teaching. Therefore, these fields of action will be described in more detail in the
following two subchapters.
3.1 Potentials of OER
As mentioned above, Austrian academics do not have a common understanding of how to use and produce
OER. Many of them are not familiar with OER or have never even heard about them therefore, they do
not feel prompted to engage in their use and production (Ebner et al., 2016b). Explaining the potentials of
OER is considered to be a major step in order to create interest in them. And indeed, there are many
potentials to be taken into account:
OER increase access to free education. In the past, scientific results and educational materials were
made available with the help of public libraries. Nowadays, most information is retrievable on the
internet. In order to allow for the legal use of educational resources by the digital society, OER are
When using Creative Commons licences, the options of legal usage and modification of OER are
clearly defined. Educational materials that are not licensed in a specific way are generally subject to
copyright laws (at least in Austria). This means that lecturers as well as students must not use these
materials without asking permission from the author (which is rather laborious and in many cases
downright impossible). Thus, OER facilitate access to and (re-)use of educational materials.
Because they can be used for free und legally modified, OER provide substantial support to open
learning scenarios. They foster open types of learning like working with (e-)portfolios or working in
learning groups. OER enable a participatory learning culture as well as the cooperation between
educational institutions and educational sectors. Moreover, OER enhance didactical innovations
like the inverted classroom concept or game based learning.
It is often assumed that there is a problem with OER quality. In truth, this does not seem to be the
case. It can be expected that educational materials produced by academics are generally of high
quality. If these materials are then made available on the internet, their quality even increases,
because the materials can be freely accessed, commented on and assessed publicly by experts and
other users. This entails that the original creators of OER have a greater motivation to adhere to
high quality standards in comparison to lecturers who only use their scripts and presentations in
the lecture hall. If suitable OER are not available, this is usually not because of a lack of quality in
existing material but due to the fact that the needed resource has not yet been created (Clements
& Pawlowski, 2012).
Academics increase their competencies to use and produce OER by using and producing them.
Dealing with OER expands the didactic opportunities for lecturers as well as students. Thus, OER are
an essential aspect of high quality teaching. Since OER are often used or produced in group settings
with students, they can foster the active participation of students in class. Additionally, the usage
and production of OER often requires further research on the topic, which leads to increased
knowledge gain.
Although OER are not automatically barrier-free they make a valuable contribution to inclusion.
Since they can be modified legally, people with special needs clearly profit from OER because these
materials can easily be adapted (by themselves or by others) for their needs.
OER may also strengthen the collaboration between Higher Education institutions and
corporations, especially start-ups in the fields of innovation and research. Following an open access
strategy, many of these companies have a policy of sharing their results. The availability of scientific
findings in the form of OER could thus lead to an increased exchange of information that would
benefit both sides. Furthermore, educational materials produced as OER may be used by
companies as part of their continuing education programmes.
OER improve the publicity of Higher Education institutions. At the moment, they can still take
advantage of the “first mover bonus” since there are currently not many universities that work with
OER. Additionally, there is always the opportunity to use OER projects as showcases to attract new
To sum it up, the potentials of OER can be classified into five main categories (Falconer et al., 2016):
reputation building, efficiency/income generation, open access to knowledge, enhancing pedagogy and the
technological momentum. UNESCO clearly states that these potentials significantly contribute to the
success of Higher Education institutions (Butcher, 2011, p. 40): “As educational systems and institutions
make strategic decisions to increase their levels of investment in design and development of better
educational programmes, the most cost-effective way to do this is to embrace open licensing
environments”. Thus, the commitment to OER implies increased investment in teaching and learning, and
promises to increase efficiency and productivity by harnessing new ways of developing better programmes,
courses and materials.
3.2 Strategic approach
Flagship OER projects are a good basis for the successful development of new materials. As pointed out
above, there have been many promising OER projects in Austria, several still ongoing. At the moment, most
of them are focused on the education of pupils and adults, but not students. Even though there are a few
projects in the field of Higher Education, they are not yet cross-linked and hence they do not follow a
collective strategy.
In order to promote the use of OER in the European Union, the European Commission has called for the
development of OER strategies on a national level (European Commission, 2012). In the case of Austria, this
implies that OER would be anchored within the national strategy of Higher Education, which is not an easy
task. Again, there is the problem that academics are not very familiar with OER. This concerns the
management level as well as academic lecturers and scientists. Thus, the first step would be to introduce
decision makers and lecturers to OER and to convince them of their benefits (Ebner & Schön, 2013). Since
Higher Education institutions are not managed as companies, it is very important to not only convince the
management but also decision makers at all institutional levels. Simultaneously, early adopters of OER need
to be supported so that they can act as multipliers among their colleagues. Additionally, the strategical
implementation of OER has to play a role in the negotiations between the Federal Ministry of Science,
Research and Economy and Higher Education institutions. In Austria, public universities (but not the other
Higher Education institutions) negotiate their budgets (which are financed mostly at taxpayers’ expense)
every three years. These negotiations lead to performance agreements, which contain the main activities
that should be accomplished during the next three years. In the future, the usage and development of OER
should be included among those activities.
At the same time, it is necessary to make OER discernible and to characterize them as such. It would not be
useful to establish a central place or space to save them, but it would make sense that each Austrian Higher
Education institution provides their own technical infrastructure where OER can be stored and found.
However, it is important that these infrastructure systems are compatible with each other. A corresponding
pilot project a cooperation between the University of Vienna, the University of Graz, Graz University of
Technology and the University of Innsbruck will start in 2016. Another relevant step is to render OER
visible to potential users. In Austria, this will be attempted with another project, conducted by the so called
“Forum neue Medien in der Lehre Austria (FNM-A)”. This association has 40 Higher Education institutions
as members and seeks to foster technology-enhanced learning in Higher Education. The project is co-
funded by the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and will establish different “labels” for
OER. These labels will indicate that the teaching and learning materials are distributed under a certain
Creative Commons licence. Nevertheless, the labels will not refer to the quality of the content, but since
the creators are academic teachers, it can be assumed that the materials will be of high quality.
The strategic implementation of OER in the field of Higher Education also requires appropriate institutional
and financial support. The usage and production of OER should be considered as conditions for the
financing of Higher Education institutions by the government. In addition, Higher Education institutions are
called upon to promote and support OER by themselves. This can be done by implementing appropriate
strategic measures but also by a redistribution of budgetary funds in favour of OER (Ebner & Schön, 2013).
Since the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy has already recognized the potentials of OER,
it has initiated the development of an OER white paper. A workgroup was set up for this purpose,
consisting of members of the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, members of Higher
Education institutions, members of the association “Forum neue Medien in der Lehre Austria” and experts
who have already elaborated a white paper concerning the open access movement in Austria (Ebner et al.,
2016c). Under the guidance of the “Forum neue Medien in der Lehre Austria”, the white paper about OER
was developed within six months in 2016. Since then, it has been presented to several important
stakeholders in Higher Education and it has instigated a fruitful discussion, which will be an excellent basis
for the implementation of OER in Higher Education.
4. Recommendations for OER integration
The white paper was published (in German) in May 2016 under the Creative Commons licence CC BY and it
is available as a PDF
. The central focus of the white paper is to formulate recommendations for a
successful OER integration. In sum, there are six essential points:
1. Mandatory commitment to OER
To jump-start the integration process of OER in Austrian Higher Education, it is necessary that all the
involved stakeholders strongly commit to OER. This is especially important for the Federal Ministry of
Science, Research and Economy and the management of Higher Education institutions. Subsequently,
those who use and produce OER (which predominantly involves academic teachers) should be
convinced of the value of OER.
2. Establishment of a nationwide information platform for exchange and cooperation
Since OER are as of yet not very well known among Austrian academics, information campaigns are
considered to be helpful in explaining the potentials of OER. Therefore, an information platform should
be established, which not only provides information about what OER are and how they work, but also
acts as a nationwide hub where knowledge and experiences in the field of OER can be exchanged. The
stipulation of uniform standards for long-term archiving of OER is another advantage of such a platform.
3. Establishment of nationwide educational programmes for different stakeholders
Since Austrian academics are not familiar enough with the usage and production of OER, it is necessary
to foster their competencies in this field. Training programmes should be offered; this can be done in
the form of workshops and/or video lectures combined with classroom discussions (following the
flipped classroom principle).
4. Establishment of national OER badges
OER should be designated as such by a central governing body. It is recommended to use three different
labels indicating the Creative Commons licence that applies: Gold label means that CC BY or CC 0 has
been used, silver label denotes CC BY-(NC)-SA and bronze label signifies CC BY-(NC)-ND. It must be
emphasised that the labels only refer to the type of licensing and that no quality criterion concerning
the content is connected with them. Such labels are expected to foster the exchange of OER between
Higher Education institutions, because institutions as well as academic teachers and students are able to
tell which educational materials are classified as OER without any further examination.
5. Targeted financial and structural promotion of OER
The target-oriented promotion of OER is essential for their integration in Higher Education. This could be
achieved by institutional measures: Funding by the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy
should be contingent on the contractual arrangement that newly developed educational materials must
be produced as OER. Higher Education institutions should honour the usage and the production of OER
as a valuable contribution to the quality of teaching, so that using and producing OER fosters the career
opportunities of academics. Those who deal with OER in Higher Academic institutions should be
encouraged, not restrained. The implementation of these measures needs financial support. Thus,
additional funding should be provided by the government and the existing budget of Higher Education
institutions should be restructured in favour of OER.
6. Establishment of OER strategies within each institution and as a comprehensive approach
As a first step and in consideration of all stakeholders, a nationwide OER strategy should be developed.
After this, the licensing of educational materials as OER as well as the free access to OER should become
part of the internal strategy of every Higher Education institution. This can be achieved by following the
recommendations mentioned above.
The white paper for OER integration in Austrian Higher Education concludes with a roadmap, which
contains an array of proposed actions for the period of the next ten years.
Until the end of 2017, the following steps shall be implemented: several networking meetings with all
stakeholders from the field of Higher Education, the responsible ministries, school and adult education and
from industry and commerce; the establishment of a nationwide platform for the exchange of OER; the
establishment of OER labels and the implementation of a nationwide OER strategy including appropriate
financing models.
In 2018, each Higher Education institution shall develop its own OER strategy, building upon the nationwide
Finally, in the period from 2019 to 2025, the following measures shall be implemented: comprehensive OER
training programmes for academics; targeted funding and support for the usage and production of OER;
information campaigns about OER including conferences and contests on OER.
5. Conclusion
In this publication, we tried to shed light on how OER work and what strategies should be considered in
order to successfully implement them at Higher Education institutions, aiming to raise the quality of
teaching and learning (with special focus on Austria). For several reasons mentioned above, OER are a
promising possibility for the sustainable distribution of learning material. Therefore, a white paper
developed by a stakeholder group states recommendations for the integration of OER in Higher Education
institutions. Follow-up projects should help to foster nationwide OER activities as well as the establishment
of a national OER strategy. Nonetheless, the process will be a rather arduous one, because it will be
necessary to raise awareness among the academic staff and to produce new and appropriate learning
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... Seite 3 (Ebner et al., 2016a, Ebner 2018 ...
... Zertifiziert werden also nicht einzelne OER im Sinne einer Kontrolle, sondern es werden Lehrende dazu weitergebildet, dass sie die rechtlichen Voraussetzungen für den Umgang mit und die Erstellung von OER kennen.Die Inhalte der Weiterbildung bzw. die OER-Zertifizierung der TU Graz orientiert sich dabei an den Vorschlägen des Forum Neue Medien in der Lehre zu offenen Bildungsressourcen(Ebner et al., 2016a) und dem Whitepaper zur OER-Zertifizierung in Österreich(Ebner et al., 2016b;Ebner, 2018). Abb. ...
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Um einen breiten Zugang zur Bildung und großzügige Nutzung von Bildungsressourcen zu ermöglichen, setzt auch die Technische Universität Graz (TU Graz) auf offene Bildungsressourcen (Open Educational Resources, kurz OER). Der Arbeitsbericht beschreibt die technologischen Entwicklungen und Prozesse, damit Lehrende der TU Graz das eigene Lernmanagementsystem für die Veröffentlichung von OER nutzen können. Es wird nachgezeichnet, wie Schnittstellen und Prozesse gestaltet wurden, um Lern- und Lehrressourcen der TU Graz mit entsprechenden Metadaten auszuzeichnen, um sie über das universitätseigene OER-Repositorium und entsprechenden Schnittstellen für das OER-Fachportal der Universität Wien einer breiten Öffentlichkeit recherchierbar anzubieten. Nur entsprechend qualifizierte Lehrende der TU Graz erhalten die Berechtigung für die Nutzung des neuen OER-Plug-In. Der Projektbericht schließt mit Empfehlungen für Nachahmer/innen.
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The 2019 UNESCO recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER) encourages member states to monitor policies and mechanisms in OER across the world. In higher education, there are many initiatives and policies around OER. This contribution gives insights into the current situation concerning OER policy documents that are of national or institutional relevance for public higher education institutions in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. For each country, a different approach for identifying OER policy documents was chosen, dependent on the availability of documents and different dominant forms of documentation. Whereas digital documents available on the web were found as helpful sources for Germany, and performance agreements between the national ministry and individual universities were used for analysis in Austria, a survey amongst all universities was the chosen research approach in Switzerland to give an overview about potentially OER related policy documents. All these documents are now made available via the OER World Map. With this contribution, the authors also highlight the possibility of using the OER World Map as a powerful tool to collect and evaluate OER policy documents.
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Workshop rund um das Thema Open Educational Resources
Technical Report
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Short essay about our OER-initiative
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Schön, Sandra (2021). Offene Bildungsressourcen (OER) erfolgreich finden, korrekt nutzen und nachhaltig erstellen. Workshop-Unterlagen für Lehrende der DHWB, 28.9.2021.
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Workshopunterlagen. Sandra Schön: Open Educational Resources. Offene Bildungsressourcen finden und teilen, Workshop am 15.9.2021 im Rahmen der Publication Week der Universität Hildesheim, veröffentlicht und nutzbar unter den Bedingungen von CC BY SA 4.0, mit Ausnahme entsprechend gekennzeichneter Fremdmaterialien.
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Das Forum Neue Medien in der Lehre Austria (fnma) ist im Rahmen des Projekts «Open Education Austria Advanced» (gefördert vom BMBWF, 04/2020-03/2024) für die Entwicklung und Einführung eines Verfahrens zum Nachweis und Sichtbarmachung von Aktivitäten in Bezug auf offene Bildungsressourcen (Open Educational Resources; kurz OER) verantwortlich. Es soll ein überzeugendes, transparentes und anerkanntes Verfahren entwickelt werden, mit dem es gelingt, OER-Aktivitäten und OER-Kompetenzen an Österreichs Hochschulen nachhaltig zu fördern und sichtbar zu machen, ohne dabei unnötigen Aufwand zu erfordern. Grundlage dabei sind bereits definierte Kriterien (FNMA, 2017): Für Personen (Arbeitstitel: «Kompetenznachweis zu offenen Bildungsressourcen für Expertinnen und Experten») ist die Teilnahme an einer OER-Weiterbildung im Umfang von 1 ECTS sowie drei eigene, veröffentlichte OER die Voraussetzung. Für Hochschulen (Arbeitstitel: «OER University») zählt ein Qualifizierungsangebot und eine Strategie zu OER, eine definierte Zahl von Lehrenden mit OER-Zertifikat sowie ein OER-Repositorium zu den Kriterien. Im Vortrag wird zu den bisherigen Entwicklungsarbeiten und der Konzeption berichtet.
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To enable broad access to education and generous use of educational resources, Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) also relies on Open Educational Resources (OER). This article describes the technological developments and processes that enable teachers at TU Graz to use their own learning management system (LMS) for the publication of OER. The article describes how interfaces and processes have marked educational resources of TU Graz with metadata to offer them to a broad public via the university's own OER repository and via the Austrian OER portal of the University of Vienna. Only appropriately qualified lecturers at TU Graz are authorized to use the new OER plug-in. The article concludes with recommendations for projects in OER infrastructure implementations. **** Ladurner, Christoph; Ortner, Christian; Lach, Karin; Ebner, Martin Haas, Maria; Ebner, Markus; Ganguly; Raman & Schön, Sandra (2020). The Development and Implementation of Missing Tools and Procedures at the Interface of a University’s Learning Management System, its OER Repository and the Austrian OER Referatory. In: International Journal of Open Educational Resources (IJOER), Volume 3, No. 2 Fall 2020 Winter 2021, URL:
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In Austria, located in the center of Europe, when compared earlier in relation to other German-speaking countries in Europe, individuals and groups started to develop and work on the idea of freely available and usable learning content on the Internet. A first Austrian milestone was the coordination of an international conference on open educational content in 2007 as the final activity of the first European project that was focused on OER ( Within the contribution an overview of current state and developments of OER activities in Austria is given, also describing its infrastructure, policy, existing resources, curriculum and teaching methodologies, outcome, stakeholders and impact for education. The chapter gives a comprehensive overview of all OER activities in Austria and outlines the benefits for the educational system as well. It can be summarized that the Austrian way seems to be successful even though the steps forward are often small.
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Since 2010, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been one of the most discussed and researched topics in the area of educational technology. Due to their open nature such courses attract thousands of learners worldwide and more and more higher education institutions begin to produce their own MOOCs. Even the (international) press is full of reports and articles of how MOOCs can revolutionize education. In this chapter, we will take a look from a meta-level. After years of experiences with different MOOCs, we recognize that many MOOCs are used in different ways by teachers, lecturers, trainers and learners. So, there are different learning and teaching scenarios in the background often not visible to the broader public. Therefore, we like to address the following research question: “How can MOOCs be used in Higher Education learning and teaching scenarios and beyond?” In the study, the authors will focus on the seven identified scenarios how particular MOOCs were used for teaching and learning and therefore illustrate, that a MOOC can be “more than a MOOC”. MOOCs are one of the key drivers for open education using Open Educational Resources. The use of open licenses for MOOC resources are the mechanism for potential innovations in learning and teachings scenarios.
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Offene Bildungsressourcen (engl. Open Educational Resources, kurz OER) sind frei zugängliche, nutzbare und häufig auch modifizierbare Online-Ressourcen für das Lernen und Lehren. Seit Anfang des 21. Jahrhunderts begann das Thema mit einer zunehmenden Zahl an Projekten, Berichten und Mitwirkenden immer bekannter zu werden. Zahlreiche Argumente, unter anderem bildungspolitische, didaktische wie auch wirtschaftliche, spre- chen dafür, sich an der Erstellung von OER zu beteiligen. In diesem Beitrag werden ausgewählte OER-Initiativen und -Projekte vorgestellt, die Potenziale von OER diskutiert und Motive für die Einführung von OER-Strategien an Hochschulen beschrieben. Zudem werden auch praktische Tipps zur Recherche, Erstellung und zum Austausch von OER gegeben. Der Beitrag schließt mit einem Abschnitt, der darauf hinweist, dass bei offenen Bildungsressourcen sich nicht nur der Vertriebsweg deutlich von traditionellen Lernobjekten (z. B. gedruckte Lehrbücher und Arbeitsmaterialien) unterscheidet, sondern dass auch weitere Prozesse einfach anders sind, u. a. das Qualitätsmanagement.
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Offene Lizenzen erlauben nicht nur die Nutzung, sondern auch die Modifikation von Texten, Programmen und Bildern – oder eben auch von Bildungsressourcen, die als „offene Bildungsressourcen“ derzeit große Aufmerksamkeit erhalten (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, 2015). In diesem Beitrag wer- den die unmittelbaren Folgen der offen Lizenzierung, nämlich die damit ver- bundenen weiträumigen Nutzungsmöglichkeit, dargestellt und demonstriert, dass die offenen Lizenzen auch als ein Treiber für Kooperationen und Innovationen in der Bildung betrachtet werden können. Die Produktion und Nutzung der offenen Bildungsressourcen unterscheidet sich von traditionellen, proprietären Arbeits- und Produktionsweisen u. a. in Bezug auf Finanzierung, Entwicklung, Qualitätssicherung und Nutzung. Anhand der Rolle von OER für Open Educational Practice und mehreren Projekten (L3T 2.0, „Gratis Online Lernen“, dem Schulbuch-O-Mat-Projekt, dem MOOChub sowie COER16) wird dies dargestellt.
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p>Open educational resources (OER) have been promoted as a path to universal education, supporting economic development and intercultural dialogue. However, to realise these benefits requires greater understanding of the factors that influence both OER supply and use. This paper examines an aspect of the supply side of the OER lifecycle – the motives prompting release – and the resultant tensions in the release process. It draws evidence from a major program of OER release projects (UKOER) funded by the UK government. The paper sets the UKOER program within the global context of OER initiatives. It uses grounded theory to identify five candidate motive types. Then, by mapping the actions evident in the UKOER program against an organisational framework derived from an activity system, it examines tensions or contradictions encountered by the projects, revealing unstated motives. The findings will be of interest to funders, institutions and educators releasing OER as they reveal potential limitations and barriers to realising the benefits of OER.</p
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Dieser Beitrag widmet sich dem Stand in der Aus- und Weiterbildung zur Medienkompetenz mit besonderem Fokus auf interaktive digitale Medien. Wir gehen dabei davon aus, dass die Nutzung digitaler Medien zwar eine Reihe positiver Entwicklungen, sowohl in der Lehre als auch im Lernprozess, initiieren und freisetzen kann, dass aber Technikeinsatz allein noch keinen Garant für eine Qualitätssteigerung im Bildungssystem darstellt. Die technischen Möglichkeiten digitaler Medien müssen im Hinblick auf die Realisierung eines didaktischen Mehrwerts beurteilt werden. Darunter verstehen wir die Gestaltung von medial unterstützten Lehr- und Lernsituationen, die einen Vorteil generieren, der ohne technische Unterstützung nicht vorhanden wäre. Weil im Rahmen des Nationalen Bildungsberichts diese spezielle – aber umfassende – Thematik bisher noch nicht behandelt wurde, konzentrieren wir uns auf die Situation bei den Lehrenden. Diese Beschränkung ist auch inhaltlich gerechtfertigt, weil aus unserer Sicht die Medienkompetenzen der Lehrenden der entscheidende Faktor für eine didaktisch sinnvolle Nutzung digitaler Medien im Unterricht sind. Wir beginnen diesen Beitrag daher mit einer Diskussion zum Begriff der Medienkompetenz, um die unterschiedlichen inhaltlichen Dimensionen, die es hier zu beachten gilt, darzulegen. Daran schließt sich ein kritischer Blick zum Status quo in Österreich an, wobei wir insbesondere Maßnahmen zur Kompetenzentwicklung von Lehrpersonen in den Blick nehmen. Danach diskutieren wir Potenziale digitaler Medien zur Erhöhung der Lehr- und Lernqualität an drei aktuellen Beispielen. Das Schlusskapitel dieses Beitrags fasst unsere Einschätzungen zusammen und stellt denkbare politische Strategien und Maßnahmen sowohl zur Nutzung digitaler Medien als auch zur Kompetenzentwicklung zur Diskussion.
Technical Report
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Dieses Dokument dient dazu, einerseits einen kurzen Überblick über freie Bildungsressourcen (Open Educational Resources, kurz: OER) generell und speziell in Österreich zu geben, sowie andererseits Empfehlungen für die österreichische Hochschullandschaft in Bezug auf eine nachhaltige Verankerung von OER in der Bildungslandschaft auszusprechen. Insbesondere wird betont, dass dafür ein Zusammenwirken aller Beteiligten – von der Politik bis hin zu den Lehrenden – notwendig ist.
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Although less well established than in other parts of the world, higher education institutions in German-speaking countries have seen a marked increase in the number of open educational resource (OER) initiatives and in government-supported OER funding in recent years. OER implementation, however, brings with it a unique set of challenges in German-speaking higher education contexts, stemming in part from copyright laws and use permissions that have made sharing and reuse of educational materials less prevalent. The article discusses how instructional development centers, including university didactics centers (hochschuldidaktische Zentren) and e-learning centers, can play a key role in faculty uptake and adoption of OER, and concludes by proposing a set of OER implementation guidelines that leverage the expertise and interfacing role of these centers in German-speaking countries.
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Bis 2025 ist die gesamte wissenschaftliche Publikationstätigkeit in Österreich auf Open Access umgestellt. Das bedeutet, dass alle wissenschaftlichen Publikationen, die aus Unterstützung mit öffentlichen Mitteln hervorgegangen sind, ohne Zeitverzögerung und in der finalen Version im Internet frei zugänglich sind (Gold Open Access). Die dafür notwendigen Mittel werden den AutorInnen zur Verfügung gestellt oder die Kosten der Publikationsorgane werden direkt von den Wissenschaftsorganisationen getragen.
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In this book chapter we describe and analyze the case of COER13 (, a community-oriented cMOOC titled ‘Online Course on Open Educational Resources’ that was run as an Austrian-German joint venture in 2013. All but one of the authors of this chapter were convenors of the course. COER13 was deliberately designed and implemented to promote the OER cause. The overall aim was to generate a comprehensive OER on the topic of OER with the course itself, using a cMOOC format to possibly reach a large audience. As a consequence all materials were openly licensed and the course design was oriented towards the production of OER on various levels. With this particular focus the case of COER13 addresses the ethical dimension of Khan’s (2006) e-learning framework, which involves viewing and evaluating e-learning with a socio-political lens, e.g. analyzing in what ways e-learning tackles urgent social challenges such as access to education for all or bridging the digital divide. Within the ethical dimension, issues of copyright and other legal issues are explicitly addressed. Hence the case presented here, with its close link to open education and alternative licensing schemes, exemplifies the challenges that have to be met when developing e-learning from an ethical perspective, striving for greater equity of access to education.