Call for OER Stories


As reported earlier Rob and Felix hosted a session about the OER World Map project at an unconference which was part of the Hewlett Grantees Meeting in Sausalito last month. One of the most exiting new ideas which where discussed in this session was the proposal by Mike Smith to collect “OER stories”. We liked the idea so much, that we deceided to implement it instantly. The idea is simple: In order to start building the OER World Map community soon we should start with a rather simple format, which can be contributed to easily and which is fun to read and to write. Stories seem to make an ideal starting point here, since the term is quite open and gives much room for interpretation, so that many people will be able to contribute. The best thing is that it fits into our strategy quite well, since we planned to approach our goals in two ways from the beginning on: On the one hand we aim at collaborating with OER data curation projects and services in order to automatically input their data into the OER World Map. On the other hand we aspire to develop an infrastructure which can be used by every participant of the OER community directly. This call for OER stories marks the starting point for the latter part of our strategy.

What can be an OER story?

Literally everthing connected to OER can be a story, especially we are looking for activity oriented stories which describe what is (or has been) happening in the field of OER:
  • A new (or old but still interesting) OER project/initiative
  • Examples of Open Educational Practices like someone generating OER resources or teaching with OER
  • The development of guidelines & institutional policies on OER
  • New insights and research on OER
  • The development or use of helpful infrastructure, software and services for OER like OER search engines or OER repositories
For sure, we are looking for success stories which might develop into best practices. Nevertheless stories about failed projects might be interesting as well, since they might help others to avoid the same failures in the future.

How should a story look like?

A story should have:
  • A title
  • A describing text which should be long enough to include interesting information but short enough to read it in little time. As a rule of thumb the desciption should not be longer than 5000 characters and answer the “Five W”-questions including a location, so that we can put the story on the map
  • An English Translation
  • A CC-BY 4.0 Licence
  • A photo which is connected to the story. 

How to contribute a story?

In the beginning, stories will be handed in simply by email. Later on a template will be developed for this. We will cooperate with the emerging network of country champions, so if you send us a story we will forward it to a country champion (if existing) in order to ensure editorial quality. 
If you have an OER story, which you consider worth sharing please send it to We are looking forward to hear from you soon!

14 thoughts on “Call for OER Stories

  1. Wishing you luck. I’ve done several rounds (initially in 2011 for the Open Education Conference) of asking colleagues to share “True Stories of Open Sharing”– I find I only collect them when I hound people or out a camera in their face. Some are OER-ish, and all 84 stories are licensed Creative Commons:


    1. Hi Alan – yes, it can be difficult to get people to contribute, especially when we want to keep the standard pretty high and we need things in a text format. We have considered importing your own ‘stories’ but aren’t really set up for video content at this time. Do you know if any of them exist as text? If there are any particularly good ones in there do you think that we might be able to approach some of the people who contributed about writing something for us? Cheers


    1. This is great – we are looking at the best way of pulling this CC-BY content into the map as stories. Thanks!


  2. Pingback: Summer 2015 News |

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