Wikimedia Deutschland/Mapping OER/Project

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User:Cornelius Kibelka (WMDE)/Mapping OER/Header

The project[edit]

Workshop financing and business models November 12th 2015
Workshop licensing and legal certainty December 13th 2015
Workshop qualification models for multipliers October 15th 2015
Workshop quality assurance September 24th 2015

In 2015 we secured the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as a highly prestigious partner for the pilot project “Mapping OER – creating open educational resources together” and thus took a step forward in establishing Wikipedia’s participatory principle in the German education system and in all areas of life-long learning.

The Mapping OER project was about initiating innovation processes in various areas of education by securing a wider network of actors across different disciplines and ensuring practical application. The project was therefore characterized by two key elements: a multi-stakeholder approach and open innovation, in line with WMDE’s working methods and basic principles.

Multi-stakeholder approach[edit]

Whether and how the topic of open educational resources (OER) gains a foothold in society depends heavily on it gaining acceptance among multipliers and on their ability to transfer complex issues concerning licensing, collaboration, and participation to their own professional contexts. A multi-stakeholder approach therefore involves actors from a variety of different contexts. In this way, the opinions and needs of everyone for whom OER is relevant (either currently or in the foreseeable future) were taken into account. More than 250 individuals were involved in the project and thus in preparing the Framework of Practice report, including actors from various areas of education, policymaking, administration, and business, as well as from existing OER initiatives. Different areas of knowledge were used productively, and collaborative work was carried out on a level playing field.

Open innovation[edit]

The open innovation approach chosen in conjunction with the multi-stakeholder approach ensured additional transparency and proactive stakeholder participation in the development process of the Framework of Practice, with the goal being to tap the full potential of innovation. Transparent approaches were key to the project. The results of each phase of the project were published and available for discussion online and offline. In addition, the method-based approach was reviewed and optimized on an ongoing basis, ensuring that the user perspective was taken into account every step of the way in a bid to establish long-term acceptance of OER within the stakeholder groups involved.

The three phases of the project[edit]

We were happy with the method-based approach used in the project, given that the open innovation process gives all stakeholders the chance to get involved and fosters broad acceptance of the results. It is also in line with the dynamic nature of the Wikimedia movement.

For the implementation of this third-party project, we were able to secure the support of a design thinking agency that gave us both methodological and conceptual advice and guided us through the various phases. This proved to be an absolute asset to our working method.

Analysis[edit]

A comprehensive analysis was the starting point for assessing the current state of OER in the four areas of education mentioned. Besides identifying the relevant stakeholders, the analysis also formed the basis for further assessing the key themes named.

Dialogue[edit]

We held four thematic workshops in which OER were discussed with experts from a variety of different educational fields. Key themes discussed included quality assurance, qualification and business models, and legal certainty in the use of free educational resources.

These workshops brought students and teachers from schools, vocational schools, further training centers, and universities together with education experts and representatives from educational publishers, as well as with people who work with educational material but had never heard of OER.

Around 30 participants were invited to each of the four workshops. This number allowed us to cover the various stakeholder groups while maintaining a workable group size. The workshops featured thematic input and an intensive working phase with clearly structured assignments. The conception and methodological implementation were developed together with the design-thinking agency, which was a fundamental benefit to the participants and to Wikimedia Deutschland. The key themes were explored in greater detail in a series of supplementary specialist articles and expert interviews, which were published on the project’s website with the option for readers to make comments.

Summary[edit]

The results of the workshops were presented and discussed in a wider context at a symposium in January 2016 that brought together relevant educational actors and others with an interest in OER. The results were summarized and published in early 2016 in a report entitled “A Framework of Practice for OER in Germany.”

The partner project “Mapping OER” has contributed significantly to our taking a big step towards achieving our aforementioned goals. As one of the largest WMDE third-party projects to date, it gave the association the kind of leeway that would have been impossible in other internal projects. Especially in a society that finds itself in the midst of structural change fueled by ongoing digitization, this project can help to forge joint paths that open up diverse views on topics like education.