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The Global Impact of OER: Lessons and Considerations from the Dutch

Submitted by on December 12, 2012 – 1:53 pmNo Comment


  • Known for innovation in higher education, the Netherlands is aggressively pioneering OER’s use in universities, while developing long-term plans to meet institutional and national objectives.
  • Watch a video clip in which key authorities talk about developing a coherent strategy and raise some important issues for educators around the world to consider.
  • We offer ten questions to raise as your institution devises its own OER plans and policies.

  The Netherlands is known for innovation and quality in higher education, due largely to a national system of regulation and quality assurance. In fact, according to the UK’s Times Higher Education ranking, Holland is home to 11 of the top 200 universities in the world. Dutch universities are aggressively pioneering uses of OER. They’re publishing open courseware and web lectures on platforms like iTunes U, while they work to develop coherent plans and policies regarding OER. Key authorities cited in a research report, OER in the Dutch Educational Landscape, produced by the Dutch Open University discuss OER in the short video below. This article, the whole study report, and the interviews are all available here. We were fascinated with some of the challenges they’re grappling with, including the questions they ask of higher education institutions and these leaders’ foresight into what lies ahead on the path they’re helping to blaze. Several “teachable moments” in the video prompted some lively discussions here among the Facutly eCommons staff. Watch the video below, and check out this slideshare. Share them with your colleagues, and consider raising any of the ten questions below at your next OER strategy session.


10 Questions for Educators and Policymakers to Consider

  1. Does your institution have a specific OER plan and policy, and how can you put one in place if it doesn’t?
  2. What are the most important purposes for pursuing an OER plan and policy?
  3. Who is responsible for spearheading an OER strategy in an educational setting?
  4. What are the best practices for beginning to use OER in lectures and homework?
  5. Will OER (including in-demand video clips) eventually phase out traditional textbooks?
  6. Does OER have the potential to limit a teacher’s authority over the subject matter?
  7. When teachers develop courseware for their classes as well as for OER purposes, will they need to do things differently, and is this a benefit to the in-class students?
  8. What are the methods for finding people online to use and share your OER?
  9. Should governments provide leadership and policies for OER?
  10. Will innovation in OER come more from free markets or involved government organizations

Organizations and Initiatives Referenced In the Video 2012 Paris OER Declaration was approved on 22 June 2012, in Paris, France at the World OER Congress by acclamation by a gathering of more than 250 people, with many governments represented. This was a UNESCO ‘Category 4’ or ‘Expert Meeting’ that had both governments and educational and OER experts present. The Declaration represents the advice of the ‘experts’ to governments, on which it is non-binding. Governments will now decide how and whether to take it further within UNESCO (e.g. Executive Board or General Conference) or elsewhere. Wikiwijs literally translates as Wikiwise. In a nutshell: Wikiwijs is an open, internet-based platform, where teachers can find, download, (further) develop and share educational resources. The whole project is based on open source software, open content and open standards. SURF unites Dutch research universities, universities of applied sciences, and research institutions. All of these institutions collaborate on innovative projects to improve the quality of higher education and research. Share with Us Have any of these questions come up in your institution’s discussions regarding OER? Please feel free to share what you’ve learned with us below. Robin BartolettiBy Robin Bartoletti  




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