OER Case Studies

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This is a list of the most compelling OER projects and implementations of CC in educational policies around the world. For a more comprehensive listing of all case studies about OER, see the Case Studies project.



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Started in 2002, Gleducar is a community of educators, students, and activists that self-organize around several educational issues and projects. It was declared of National Interest by the Senate of Argentina three years later and is considered one of the most important open educational projects in Argentina. The community is supported by Gleducar's nonprofit/NGO status. [1] Community initiatives revolve around building a repository of open educational resources (OER), promoting more open intellectual property and educational policies, encouraging the use of free technologies and distributed networks, open access, and educational innovation in general. All content on Gleducar is licensed under a CC Attribution-ShareAlike license.


University of Southern Queensland OpenCourseWare

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The University of Southern Queensland’s OpenCourseWare (USQ OCW) provides access to free and open educational resources (OER) for students, academics, and interested readers worldwide. USQ OCW contains sample courses from each of the University’s five faculties, together with courses from its Tertiary Preparation Program. USQ is the only Australian member of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, an international collaboration of more than 230 higher education institutions and associated organisations ‘creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model.’ All USQ OCW is available under CC Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike.


Athabasca University

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Athabasca University is Canada's open university that is aiming to replace as many of their course materials with open educational resources (OER) and is home to the worlds first University Press dedicated to open access publishing, where authors choose whether to release their work under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives license. Athabasca University is also the base for the UNESCO OER Community that was first launched in 2005. Athabasca University OER is available under various CC licenses and the UNESCO OER Community publishes all content under CC Attribution-ShareAlike.


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The BCcampus initiative is a collaboration of 25 post-secondary institutions contributing and sharing open educational resources under the CC Attribution-ShareAlike license or a BCcampus license for use within the system. It is an "online learning and educational technology service agency established and funded entirely by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development."


Cybertesis at the Universidad de Chile

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Cybertesis is a joint publishing program for academic theses online, and is an initiative of the Université de Montreal, the Université Lyon2 and the Universidad de Chile, among other 50 institutions in Europe, Africa and America. It is financially supported by Fonds Francophone des Inforoutes and UNESCO. The objective of Cybertesis is to promote the publication and diffusion of university theses online, implementing international standards for digital publishing, and technology that facilitate the access and interchange of information, based on interoperable and open source tools. Cybertesis supports the copyrights of its authors, by explaining the law and asking the authors for authorization to include their works in the system. Cybertesis offers several options, such as “not authorizing”, “embargo” (which allows postponing the release of the works temporally), and licensing with Creative Commons. The Creative Commons licensing system has become the standard adopted by Cybertesis to manage the rights of authors.



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Eduteka is a primary and secondary educational portal for Spanish language open educational resources (OER) offered under a default of CC Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike. It is supported and run by the Gabriel Piedrahita Uribe Foundation in Colombia and has been awarded the National Prize for Technology in Education twice by the Iberoamerican Network for Technology in Education. Eduteka has also run pilot programs, incorporating OER into schools in order to "[increase] the competency of students and teachers in ICTs" and "[improve] the integration of these technologies into the regular curriculum."

Escuela Virtual del Deporte

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The Escuela Virtual del Deporte, or the Virtual School of Sports, leverages CC licensing and tools offered by ICT (Information Technology and Communication) to make available open educational resources (OER) in sports education. It is a collaboration between the Universidad Pedagogica Nacional, the United Nations Program for Development, and Colombia Aprende, and was created within the framework of government policies aimed at overcoming the digital divide. All content is available under CC Attribution-ShareAlike.

Virtual School for Latin America and the Caribbean

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The Virtual School for Latin America and the Caribbean is an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme Regional Bureau and provides training in the applied sciences for social transformation in three academic areas: Human Development (HD), Democratic Governance (DG) and Crisis Prevention and Recovery (CPR). Its mission is "to strengthen democratic governance and contribute to human development in Latin America and the Caribbean." School resources are licensed under CC Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike or CC Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives.

Czech Republic

RVP Metodicky Portal

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The RVP Metodicky Portal is an educational portal to Czech open educational resources (OER) licensed under CC Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike and CC Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives. It is a government-funded initiative by the Czech Republic and the European Social Fund, and is run as part of a research project by the Institute of Education in Prague and the National Institute of Vocational Education. The project aims to provide "systematic support for teachers in teaching methodology and didactics, development of learning communities," and more "effective ways of learning."


Le Mill

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Le Mill is an online community for "finding, authoring and sharing" open educational resources (OER). Le Mill was developed by the LeMill team led by the Learning Environments Research Group of Media Lab at the University of Art and Design Helsinki, Finland. As of November 2010, Le Mill has nearly ~15,000 teachers contributing from 63 countries and almost 24,000 learning resources in 83 languages. Le Mill resources are licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike.


Pratham Books

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Pratham Books is a non-profit children's book publishing house in India that uses CC licenses, specifically CC Attribution and CC Attribution-ShareAlike, to further distribution, translation and reuse of its works. The books are available for purchase at low cost or for free online at their Scribd channel. Pratham Books also has a Flickr account where they publish pictures of their community under CC Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike.

Computer Masti

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Computer Masti (CM) is a series of books, activities, and interactive content for computer education in primary schools in India. It is a research-based product created at the IIT Bombay in collaboration with InOPEN, a tech start-up that works with Free and Open Source (FOSS) technologies. The books are available online under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike with additional permissions for commercial use via CC plus (more info to come in their legal section). Site content is licensed under CC Attribution.


I-CLEEN project

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I-CLEEN I-CLEEN is a collaborative project among teachers, willing to create a free database of resources (an information gateway) already tested in the classrooms, aiming to an interactive education of Earth System Science topics. I-CLEEN is a web project by the Science Museum of Trento(former Tridentine Museum of Natural Sciences). The project won the eLearning award 2010. All the parts that make up the project and all their respective activities are fully dealt with using an open source web platform called LifeRay specifically implemented for this project. Resources are licensed under CC Attribution 3.0 (Italy)



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Wikiwijs is an open educational resources (OER) platform for teachers launched by the Dutch Ministry of Education to "stimulate development and use of OER", "improve access to both open and 'closed' digital learning materials", "support teachers in arranging their own learning materials and professionalization", and to "increase teacher involvement in development and use of OER." Wikiwijs builds on the wiki philosophy of Wikipedia but customizes an existing OER platform, Connexions, to host and distribute its content. Wikiwijs is focused on all levels of education, from primary to higher education. All content on Wikiwijs is available under CC BY.

New Zealand


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OER NZ is a joint effort by the New Zealand Ministry of Education and the OER Foundation to build an open educational resources (OER) portal for New Zealand schools. In keeping with the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing (NZGOAL) framework, which specifically recommends "the licensing of government copyright works for re-use using Creative Commons licences and recommends the use of ‘no-known rights’ statements for non-copyright material," a national portal for OER would involve building a "sustainable Open Education Resource (OER) ecosystem for New Zealand teachers to create, share, repurpose and reuse digital content in support of the national curriculum." All content will be under CC Attribution or otherwise meet the free cultural works definition.

Otago Polytechnic

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Otago Polytechnic is a publicly-subsidised vocational education and training organisation in Dunedin, New Zealand, that offers a range of open access training courses. Otago Polytechnic is the first tertiary institution in the world to adopt a default CC Attribution policy and the first New Zealand tertiary institution to sign the Cape Town Open Education Declaration.


Norwegian National Digital Learning Arena (NDLA)

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The Norwegian National Digital Learning Arena (NDLA) is an open educational resources (OER) project and open source platform for sharing OER in secondary education. It is a joint initiative by different provinces in Norway that allocates a portion of state funds to ensure free access to textbooks for Norwegian students and to develop digital resources (or purchase from publishers or other producers) that are released under CC Attribution-ShareAlike. In just a few years, the project has produced a large amount of OER.


Orange Academy (Akademia Orange)

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Orange Academy (Akademia Orange) is a grant program for cultural education projects that is funded by the Orange Foundation (Fundacja Orange), a nonprofit, charitable branch of the Polish part of the Orange telecom operator. The licensing policy for all content funded through the Orange Academy is CC Attribution. The Orange Academy funds around 30 grants per year at ~$17,000 each, and funded projects focus on the Internet and modern technology as educational tools.

We Read While We're Listening (Czytamy słuchając)

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We Read While We're Listening (Czytamy słuchając) is an open educational resources project by the Modern Poland Foundation (which is part of the Coalition for Open Education) and the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The project creates free access to audio versions of obligatory school reading material (the Polish school system has a list of 200+ books which are obligatory reading at different levels of curriculum, considered the cultural canon) by recording audiobooks by professional actors. The books are in the public domain, and the professional recordings are licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike.

South Korea


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SNOW is an open knowledge platform for sharing higher education content. From lectures in the humanities, sciences, design to great addresses given by global leaders, SNOW offers Korean scripts and introductions on these academic subjects, encouraging its users to participate as volunteers who can participate in the OER movement through translations, distribution and creation of their own resources. As of February 2010, SNOW contained 260 Korean script-supported lectures including 145 lectures from TED, 95 voluntarily translated by users. All SNOW content is available under CC Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives.

Korea University OpenCourseWare

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Korea University firstly launched its open courseware program in 2009, after joining the OCW consortium in 2007. Korea University OpenCourseWare provides lecture materials for ten departments, including the departments of Technology, Law, and Education. Korea University is also organizing open courseware (Korea Open Courseware) among domestic universities. Including Korea University, nine universities have implemented open courseware policies: Kyunghee University, Kyunghee Cyber University, Pukyung University, Pusan University, Sangmyung University, Seoul National University of Technology, Inha University, and Dongguck University. Korea University OCW is under CC Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives while other universities, such as Kyunghee University OCW, have implemented CC Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike.

United Kingdom


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OpenLearn is an initiative by the Open University (OU), the United Kingdom's distance learning and research university with an open policy for entry. OU has been a pioneer in making learning materials freely available through its successful partnership with the BBC, and now with OpenLearn, it offers a full range of Open University subject areas from access to postgraduate level and has seen millions of visitors since launch. The aim of OpenLearn is to reduce the costs of course development for everyone in education and improve quality by openly sharing quality-assured educational materials under CC Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike.

United States

California Free Digital Textbook Initiative

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The California Free Digital Textbook Initiative was spearheaded by Governor Schwarzenegger in collaboration with California Secretary of Education Glen Thomas, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, and State Board of Education President Ted Mitchell. The initiative aimed to develop a state approved list of standards-aligned, open-source digital textbooks for high school math, science, history, and the social sciences. Of the 16 textbooks submitted in Phase 1, 15 are openly licensed under one of the Creative Commons licenses. All 10 that passed 90% of CA’s state standards are CC licensed. Of the 17 textbooks submitted in Phase 2, including updated versions from Phase 1, 10 carry a CC license. All but two of the CC licensed textbooks met 100% of California’s state standards.

Open Course Library

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Washington’s Open Course Library is a large scale effort to make core college course materials available on the Web for $30 or less per class. Faculty from Washington State Community and Technical Colleges are working together to design 81 high enrollment, gatekeeper and pre-college courses for face-to-face, hybrid and/or online delivery. The goal of the Open Course Library is to improve course completion rates, lower textbook costs for students, provide new resources for faculty to use in their courses, and for the SBCTC system to fully engage the global open educational resources discussion. This last point is straight from a guiding principle of our college system's Strategic Technology Plan to “cultivate the culture and practice of using and contributing to open educational resources.”

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