Submitted 5 November, 2012.
IPM Reference Number: 863801634322031012
The answers below are supported by the following CC Europe affiliates:
Before responding the present questionnaire, please read carefully the consultation document where the initiative is presented together with its priority areas and activities. You can find this document in the "useful links" above. Questions marked with an asterisk * require an answer to be given.
The contributions received will be published online together with the identification of the respondent, unless you oppose. In the end of the questionnaire you will be asked whether you authorise or not such publication.
Are you responding as an individual or as organisation?
Name of the organisation (maximum 50 characters)
Country where the organisation is based (maximum 50 characters)
Is your organisation registered in the "EU Transparency Register for organisations and self-employed individuals engaged in EU policy-making and policy implementation"
Please indicate the number of registration of your organisation (maximum 50 characters)
Please indicate one contact person regarding this answer (maximum 50 characters)
Please indicate one contact (email or telephone) where this person could be reached (maximum 50 characters)
To what extent do you agree with the following statements
A more systematic use of ICT in education, together with extended availability and use of Open Educational Resources, could have a significant and positive impact on the quality of education and on learning outcomes;
There is a clear rationale for public intervention in order to promote and facilitate the provision of and access to OER;
An initiative at European level to support and complement initiatives at Member State level would allow for significant synergies and increase overall results for society;
Ensuring wider availability and use of OER and ICT in education should be a top priority for the EU and its Member States in the coming years;
How much benefit do you consider each educational sector will gain from opening up education?
Initial Vocational Training
Adult Education (including continuous VET)
Informal and non-formal learning
Problems to be addressed
Policy intervention is appropriate when there are clear and specific problems that requires intervention from public authorities. Would you agree that this is the case? Namely in the following:
The use of Open Educational Resources, and more generally the use of ICT, in education in Europe is still too fragmented and unsustained; therefore, there is a need for action to promote more and better use of OER.
A deeper exploitation of Open Educational Resources and its potential would increase access to education, namely by attracting individuals who would otherwise not be involved in formal education (adult learners, individuals who are geographically remote from educational institutions, individuals interested in only very specific subjects, individuals with special educational needs, etc.)
The potential of Open Educational Resources is not being fully exploited at least in part because of the lack of a clear legal framework applicable within the European Union addressing issues like Intellectual Property Rights, copyrights, licensing and publishing rights.
The use of Open Education Resources is not being fully exploited, at least in part because the variety of resources, their types and sources, make it too complicated for users (learners or educators) to find and select the right resources for their specific needs.
For the user, identifying quality resources and/or sources may be difficult due to the variable quality and fragmented nature of Open Educational Resources. This could be resolved by the development of quality standards and quality assurance tools.
The potential of ICT in education and OER is not being fully exploited, at least in part because it is yet not clear how different actors (e.g. content providers, publishers) can adapt their strategies and business models.
The nature of Open Educational Resources has the potential to generate higher levels of innovative practice in education and training institutions who embrace this approach.
Wider use of ICT in education could increase the motivation of born-digital learners, thus reducing early school leaving.
While maintaining the freedom of choice for schools to choose their own educational textbooks, the availability of free digitised school books could lead to a significant reduction in the cost of education for the learner and thus reduce levels of dropout from education.
The availability of high quality Open Educational Resources, clearly identifiable as European, would have a positive effect on the attractiveness of the European education and research system, contributing to the recruitment and retention of high quality students and researchers in the EU.
ICT didactics on the use of OER and new pedagogical practices are not made sufficiently available to teachers and other educators, particularly during initial teacher training.
Stronger cooperation between traditional higher education institutions and Open Universities could contribute to a better use and uptake of OER and should be encouraged.
The availability of hardware and ICT infrastructure in/for education in many learning environments is still insufficient, thus creating imbalances in learner access to education generally.
Do you think that other issues/difficulties should be addressed? Please explain further. (maximum 5000 characters)
The Commission should support the recommendations in the 2012 Paris OER Declaration (PDF), which was ratified by UNESCO member nations at the World Open Educational Resources Congress on 20-22 June 2012. As described in the consultation document, “the EU will use the tools at its disposal (policy guidance, EU regulation whenever relevant, funding mechanisms, exchange of good practices and innovative pilots).” By leveraging these various tools in alignment with the suggestions laid out in the Paris Declaration, the EC can be very effective in promoting the development and use of OER. Those recommendations urge UNESCO member nations to:
The European Commission is in a position to help coordinate, promote, and support most--if not all--of these recommendations. In addition, these recommendations align with the Europe 2020 priorities, especially in increasing effective investments in education by encouraging free open access to publicly funded educational content.
In addition, the Paris Declaration reaffirms OER as “teaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.” The EC should support this definition of OER so that users of OER know the rights available to them and so that producers of OER get the credit they deserve. Also, since we agree that the potential of OER is not being fully exploited at least in part because of the lack of a clear legal framework applicable within the European Union, we strongly suggest that the EC should consider promoting the use of Creative Commons licenses and public domain tools like the CC0 Public Domain Dedication. CC licenses are globally applicable and are seen as the gold standard for content licensing. It would be beneficial for the EC to adopt CC licenses because they are already established and understood, instead of creating customized licenses that may not interoperate with existing solutions.
The proposed actions are grouped into four priority areas (please refer to the main text). Do you agree that the priority areas are adequately addressed by these proposed actions? Please respond considering each of these areas:
Access, inclusion and equity;
Quality, efficiency and internationalisation;
Teaching, educational practices and assessment;
For each of the four priorities aforementioned, please highlight which action you consider to be the most important and whether it requires intervention at the European level.
Area 1 - Access, inclusion and equity (maximum 200 characters)
Area 2 - Quality, efficiency and internationalisation; (maximum 200 characters)
Area 3 - Teaching, educational practices and assessment (maximum 200 characters)
Area 4 - Policy development (maximum 200 characters)
Do you consider that any of the proposed actions are not appropriate for inclusion in this initiative? (maximum 500 characters)
Is there any other action that you consider essential? (maximum 500 characters)
Considering the need for intervention at European level (as opposed to intervention at Member State level) please rate how much you agree with the following statements:
Jointly agreed actions are needed to maximise the benefits from opening up education;
There would be clear synergies from an EU initiative because it would complement existing or future actions by Member States
Although a European initiative would create synergies, some actions would require a closer cooperation with Member States because there may be a need to contextualise to different geographical areas
As education is the responsibility of Member States, cooperation in the field of Open Educational Resources is not appropriate at EU level and should be left exclusively to each Member-State
Final general question
Do you have any further comments on the proposed initiative? Please feel free to give your opinion on the proposed initiative and/or to address any specific elements not mentioned previously. You can also upload a file with the official position from the Member State/organisation/authority you are responding on behalf of.
The contributions received and the identity of the contributor will be published on the Internet, unless the contributor is opposed to the publication of personal data for fear that this would damage his/her legitimate interests, in which case the contribution may be published in anonymous form. Do you authorise the European Commission to publish your contribution?