A federate reference structure in an open informational ecosystem

Vortrag auf der OER 15 gemeinsam mit Ingo Blees, DIPF


A federate reference structure in an open informational ecosystem

Heinen, Richard (UDE); Kerres, Michael (UDE); Scharnberg, Gianna (UDE), Blees, Ingo (DIPF), Rittberger, Marc (DIPF)

It can be considered as one of the advantages that the production and distribution of learning materials is much easier in the digital world. The OER movement benefits from these possibilities. Whereas, publishing is one thing; the other is to maintain the material, to make it accessible and to implement methods for quality assurance – not only as the responsibility of one publisher but as a task for a whole educational system.

Repositories of OER (ROER) can help to fulfil these tasks, if they follow some given criteria (Atenas & Havemann, 2014).Yet unsolved and underestimated is the question how to enhance transparency between different ROERs (Conole & Alevizou, 2010). Or: ROERs are regarded as appropriate tools to foster (McGreal et. al., 2013) the awareness for OER (UNESCO, 2012). However ,this reflects only the perspective of publishers and not of an (inter)national educational system. If resources are open the different metadata created by authors, editors and users, or even aggregated automatically should be open as well and accessible from different places. Furthermore: collecting descriptions, peer-reviews, ratings and other metadata independent from the resource adds to quality assurance and transparency and to informational autonomy of the user.

So far we have described the main idea of an open ecosystem and the benefit of joining metadata created by different users. As a next step we suggest a federate system of OER reference systems to connect resources and metadata across ROERs.

The paper will describe a federate ecosystem for OER using the example of the German educational system ,where a variety of ROERs (Muuß-Merholz & Schaumburg, 2014) and reference platforms (Kühnlenz et. al., 2012) have been established over the past years. In order to develop this ecosystem not only metadata standards are necessary, but also open APIs to exchange information In conclusion, it is essential that all relevant stakeholders agree on one transparent policy that they develop collaboratively.



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Conole, G., & Alevizou, P. (2010). A literature review of the use of Web 2.0 tools in Higher Education. A report commissioned by the Higher Education. Milton Keynes, OK: Open University.

Kühnlenz, A., Martini, R., Ophoven, B., Bambey, D., & others. (2012). Der Deutsche Bildungsserver–Internet-Ressourcen für Bildungspraxis, Bildungsverwaltung und Bildungsforschung. Erziehungswissenschaft, 23(44), 23–31.

McGreal, R., Kinuthia, W. & Marshall, S, eds. (2013) Open Educational Resources? Innovation, Research and Practice, UNESCO, Commonwealth of Learning and Athabasca University, Atahbasca.

Muuß-Merholz, J., & Schaumburg, F. (2014). Open Educational Resources (OER) für Schulen in Deutschland 2014: Whitepaper zu Grundlagen, Akteuren und Entwicklungen. Internet & Gesellschaft Collaboratory.

UNESCO (2012): Paris OER Declaration. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from: http://www.unesco.de/oer-faq.html