This document constitutes a limited international history of work directed at the sharing of learning resources. In order to develop a coherent narrative, we have constrained our research to: * Focusing on policy rather than technical approaches * Not attempting to be exhaustive – looking at exemplars rather than trying to cover every project in this area. * Concentrating specifically on Higher Education, rather than other educational sectors. * Paying particular attention to the way in which international movements have affected the UK.
The aim of this document is to provide a context into which discussions around future HEFCE-supported OER work can be put. Many members of the steering group will have been involved in elements of the work that is described here, and could likely add further detail to many aspects of the paper. But we were unable to find any earlier work that tells the full story of this policy area, from the early eighties to the present day.
We have drawn particularly on five key previous reports, all of which would serve as useful further reading and are available freely online. * OECD, “Sharing knowledge for free ” (2007) * CETIS, “Opportunities and challenges for higher education ”. (2008) * Ithaka, “Unlocking the Gates ” (2011 * Hewlett Foundation, “Review of the OER Movement ” (2007) * JISC, “Good Intentions ” (2008)
This report also builds on numerous reports, policy documents and blog posts. We have included links to key resources as footnotes. And we have drawn extensively on our range of contacts and personal knowledge.