About the information service OER

National Community Portal for Open Educational Resources

The project “OERinfo | Community Portal for Open Educational Resources (OER)“ is funded long-term since March 2023 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) until February 2028.

These are our goals

The overall goal of the further project is to strengthen and expand the OER community. The goal is achieved in a triad:

  1. Provision of infrastructure for the dissemination and availability of Open Educational Resources, e. g. the OER World Map
  2. Community building with tailor-made transfer activities for competence development and
  3. Increasing the visibility of the topic with a variety of information and communication formats.

The platform OERinfo – transfer & exchange place for OER

The Information Service OER (OERinfo) is a topic-specific online portal that provides the public and professional target groups with comprehensive information on the subject of OER. OERinfo should remain the central contact point for OER and will therefor be further developed.

The transfer is strengthened by the offer to the community to make self-created OER known via OERinfo and to use options for storing meta-OER in order to benefit from the reference structures of OERinfo. For materials that are subject-specific OER from third parties, it is the task of OERinfo to initiate and accompany the contact between the (new) OER actors or authors and the corresponding repositories.

The OER World Map is established in the community as an important collection for the mapping of OER projects and actors. It will be reintegrated into OERinfo and the creation and processing of data will be simplified. In the first phase of the integration process, the focus is on updating the database for the German-speaking area: The OER community is encouraged to enter their activities into the OER World Map via „Edit-a-thons“.

Reach new audiences and bring the OER community together

Another field of action is the identification of new communities, e.g. found outside of existing funding or have so far dealt little with the topic of OER. In a first step, a systematic mapping is carried out, which clusters the various communities from all areas of education and, based on the information from OERinfo and the OER World Map, arranges them according to their activities. Then, together with stakeholders of the communities to be identified, ways should be found to involve them, to sensitize them to the topic of OER, to introduce them to existing discourses and to train them in the sense of Open Educational Practices.

In order to reach actors in educational practice and educational research, networking formats are offered regularly in various directions. The formats are continuously evaluated with the participants in order to adapt them to the needs of the communities and, as a result, to contribute optimally to the development of OER skills and a high degree of networking in the OER community as a whole.

Communication and services around OER

Through the OERinfo blog, the podcast zugehOERt and the accompanying social media channels, OERinfo is the central place where the German-speaking OER community obtains information. Blog, podcast zugehoert and social media will be continued as an essential part of the platform to showcase the diversity of the different initiatives and approaches.

As part of the guideline for funding projects to strengthen, expand and network OER communities – a focus within the OER strategy for realizing a sustainable OER-supportive ecosystem in digital education, and other guidelines yet to be published, OERinfo takes on the task of a national community portal to support the communication of the funded projects within and outside their respective communities.

As a central point of contact for anyone interested in OER, OERinfo also offers a range of services. In particular, actors who are less familiar with the editing and creation of OER OERinfo would like to give very practical assistance. For this purpose, OERinfo offers support in the form of explanatory videos that build on one another on the subject of OER and law.

OERinfo also compiles starter kits (templates for OER) that support projects and people in the production of OER. In addition to the starter kits for OER beginners, other starter kits can be realized in exchange with potential target groups, e.g. for experienced authors or the educational administration, for example to introduce an OER policy.

Previous work

As part of the funding from the BMBF (2012 – 2020), Jöran und Konsorten was responsible for blog editing and social media.

Following parnter institutions maintained the dossier pages for the four areas of education:

The OER map for Germany (OERde-Karte), an excerpt from the OER World Map, situated at the Hochschulbibliothekszentrum des Landes NRW (hbz NRW), served to illustrate relations among OER actors, with the goal of data-based visualizing of the network of the OER community in Germany.