Category Archives: community

Video stories are now online

We now have our first video content available through OER World Map! You can review the entries at the following URLs:

Open Educational Resources in Africa

NOVA’s OER-Based Associate Degree Project

We hope to add more stories in this way over the coming months.  If you have a video relating to OER that you would like to share with the community then get in touch.

Content published on YouTube with a licence that permits sharing can easily be repurposed for the map in this way using the embed code provided in the sharing menu.




How to become part of the OER World Map Country Champion Network

The idea behind the OER World Map ‘Country Champion’ network is to develop a group of people and institutions who will support the World Map project by collecting OER data and stories from their country and ensure its quality through editorial control. This post describes who can become a champion, what a champion should do, how you can benefit from being a champion and what to do next if you would like to become a champion. The post is an updated version of an earlier post, which reflects the development of the concept within the last months.

1. What does it take to become a country champion?

As an OER World Map Country Champion you should ideally be:

  • Dedicated to openness as defined by the Open Definition and the 5R framework. This dedication is absolutely mandatory and should be proven by prior activity in the field of OER or the related fields of Open Access, Open Education, Open Source etc. 
  • Networked and well connected to your local OER community.
  • Representative of an institution, since we believe that institutions do provide a certain sustainability. However, this is not compulsory. Especially for small countries (which have not yet been in the center of the OER movement) we are happy to cooperate with engaged individuals. Examples for institutions would be private or public education institutions, research institutes, libraries or NGO`s like Creative Commons, Wikimedia or the Open Knowledge Foundation. Even commercial cooperation’s could apply, but only if truly dedicated to openness!
  • Willing to develop a national networks of volunteers.
  • Able to speak English.
  • Comfortable dealing with metadata, databases, categorization systems and other forms of structured information.
  • Someone who has fun engaging for OER!

2. Things to do as a country champion

Get used to the OER World Map platform

A good way to start is looking at the OER World Map. Interesting pages are the country views as well as the service descriptions. Other sources of information are our blog, our initial data model as well as our GitHub system. In the future we might also offer some training webinars in order to demonstrate how to handle complicated data entries and share experiences.

Send us one or several OER stories.

We recently raised a call for OER World Map ‘stories. The stories should describe different kinds of OER related activities (e.g. teaching with OER, producing OER, etc.) and should give the interested reader a chance to learn. We will extract the data included in the stories and put them onto the map. Until we offer templates (planned for October 2015), this will be the exclusive method of data input. 

Raise awareness of the OER World Map Project in your country

e.g. by using Twitter, Facebook, you blog or speaking about it at conference. 

Develop the needed know-how

We try to develop the platform to be intuitive and easy to use. Nevertheless, we have learned that there can be many challenges in collecting good quality data. For example, it can be difficult sometime to distinguish between an institution, a project which is driven by the institution and a service, which is developed within a project. (According to our data model these are three different entries.) Furthermore, it can be difficult to decide on the level of openness a service provides. All in all some intellectual preparation for sure will do no harm. One approach to preparing is reading the published stories and seeing how the integrated data was extracted. We intend to provide a short explanatory video as well as webinars for country champion networks.

Collect and input data

Data collection and input will often be done by using our input templates, which will be available from October 2015. If you already have lots of data, which should be put on the map, it will also be possible to import it by using our API.

Participate in the “OER World Map Edit-A-Ton”

This will be a community event, which will be hold at the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016. The aim will be to populate the World Map with lots of good quality data in a short space of time.

Assure data quality

We hope that, as soon as a critical mass is achieved, new OER projects will start to input their data automatically in order to increase their profile. We trust that it will be easier for volunteers to refine and enrich data once the amount of curated data increases. In the long run we expect that the focus of the country champion networks will move from data input to data quality assurance. 

Look for opportunities for data reuse

The data provided by the OER World Map will be very helpful in many contextes in- and outside the OER community. Country Champions should be aware of this importance and look for local opportunities of data reuse.

Grow the network

Last but not least you should rise awareness of the network and find new members so that the work is spread on many shoulders.

3. What is the minimum amount of work you have to do?

If all this sounds like a lot of work to you, don`t panic! At the moment it is very difficult for us to estimate how much work editing the world map will be. We believe that for many countries it will make a good start to spend a weekend on data collection. But for sure this varies according to the size of the country and the intensity of its OER activity. The entry of a complete data set can take minutes or hours, especially if it is a service which you want to classify according to the provided subjects. Nevertheless you should not forget that you are not obliged to do anything. We understand that you do this work voluntarily and that your time is restricted, so not every point of the list has to be provided, and not every entry has to be complete from the beginning on. Litlle information is better than no information and others can help make an initial dataset complete.

4. How to benefit from being a country champion?

We believe that there are many ways to benefit from being a country champion:

  • You will receive an overview of the OER and Open Education movement in your area.
  • You can enlarge your national and international OER network.
  • Modeling data might provide an interesting learning experience. We already have learned a lot about OER and you could do so, too!
  • You will gather understanding of a very powerful dataset, which potentially can be used for the development of a number of OER servcies.
  • You can contribute to a mission you believe in. If you think that speaking about OER is all very fine, but now the time has come to act, contributing to the OER World Map might be the thing to do!

We are grateful that so many people believe in this project an offered us their help. Nevertheless we understand that volunteer contribution is limited by nature. To support country champions, which operate under difficult conditions we would like to offer micro grants in the long run. But unfortunately we cannot offer this at the moment and we are not sure if and when we will be able to do so. 

5. What to do next?

If you are interested in becoming part of the OER World Map country champion network, please contact us under We are looking forward to hear from you!

To apply to become part of the OER World Map ‘Country Champion network you should write us an email which shortly describes who you are, what you do and why you are dedicated to openness. Please add your address including email and other channels to contact you. You can also add a photo of yourself! 

We are looking forward to hear from you!

Foto: “Kansas Jayhawks 2008 NCAA Basketball National Champions–Street Party” by Mircea, CC BY 2.0 Generic

What does it mean to become a Country Champion?

The idea behind the championship is to build a network of people and institutions who will support the project especially by helping to collect OER data and stories from their country and ensuring its quality by editorial control. This posts describes the characteristics as well as the responsibilities of an OER World Map country champion.

Since the launch of our landing page during open education week this year we are looking for persons and institutions, which would like to participate in the OER World Map project as country (or even continental) champions. We have since then received quite some responses (a list of the existing country champions will be published soon) but we are still far away from having one champion for every country of the world!

What does it need to be a champion?

As an OER World Map Country Champion you should be
  • clearly dedicated to openness as defined by The Open Definition or the 5R framework. This is dedication is absolutely mandatory and should be proven by prior activity in the field of OER or the related fields of Open Access, Open Education, Open Source etc. 
  • well connected to your local OER community.
  • ideally representing an institution since we believe that institutions do provide a certain sustainability. But this is not compulsory. Especially for small countries, which have not been in the center of the OER movement yet, we are more than happy to cooperate with engaged individuals. Examples for institutions would be private or public education institutions, research institutes or NGO`s like Creative Commons, Wikimedia or the Open Knowledge Foundation. Even commercial cooperations could apply, but only if truly dedicated to openness.
  • speaking English.
  • have fun engaging for OER!

What will a champion have to do?

As an OER World Map Champion you will be responsible for
  • rising  awareness of the OER World Map Project in your country e.g. by resending/retweeting our messages.
  • translating calls for participation into her/his mother tongue.
  • acting as a point of contact for people from your country interested in participating in the project.
  • helping to build an editorial board, which keeps care of collecting data (and stories) in her/his country and assures the quality of this data.
  • organizing the “OER World Map-Edit-A-Ton” a global community event, which will aim at collecting all OER related data (planned for fall  2015).
  • telling us, what the OER community in you country expects from the OER World Map.

Country championship will not be exclusive. This means that there can be several OER World Map Champions for one country. We hope that in this case volunteers will cooperate to develop a joint editorial board. Especially in lager countries this will help to make the efforts related with Country Championship maintainable. After all it`s all about cooperation!

What to do next?

If you want to participate in the OER World Map project please write us a mail to – we are looking forward to hear from you!

 (photo: pixabay)

OER World Map at #oer15

Helo ffrindiau OER, a chyfarchion o Gaerdydd yng Nghymru (DU)! Here are the slides from today’s presentation by myself and Philipp at the OER15 conference in Cardiff, in Wales (UK). They provide a snapshot of the current progress of the project and we also managed to collect our first examples of user stories. You can access the list of stories (and add your own) at

The recording of the session will also be made available, but in the meantime here are some thoughts I picked up in the discussion:

  • Some people prefer to have some suggestions provided for the structure and length of a ‘story’
  • Some people want to embed HTML links in their story
  • Adding a word limit might be helpful for some because it makes the task more manageable
  • The task of curating stories in multiple languages was identified as a risk for the project
  • Any online form for collecting stories needs to be protected from spam
  • There is interest in the alternative (non-map) forms of visualization – it might be good to sketch some of these out
  • There may remain issues around the internationalisation of the platform
  • Emails may lack persistence as a grounding for the map contributions
  • There remains interest in an OER World Map but the important thing from an uptake point of view is the perception that the platform has some permanence and will be maintained in the future

Unconference: OER World Map at #oer2015

Today, myself and Felix are representing the OER World Map project in Sausalito, California this week at the meeting of grantees of The Hewlett Foundation.  It’s been great to get the chance to connect with some of the key players in the OER world and exchange ideas about the future aspirations of the movement.  The conference has included lots of group activities as well as some interesting speakers, and as part of the proceedings there is an unconference session which includes time for delegates to come and speak about the OER World Map project and tell us what they would like from the system.  We’ve been joined by, among others, Patrick McAndrew, Susan D’Antoni, Fred Mulder and Tel Amiel for stimulating discussions on the possibilities.  Susan provided some background on the project and its origin in the 2012 consultation she organised.  Many OER practitioners at the time complained that it was hard to know about OER initiatives and activities taking place near them, and so the map was conceived as a way of sharing this information.

Here are some of the take away points and reflections from the session:

  • What is the correct balance between human curation and automatic collection of data?  (It’s worth noting that the privacy laws in Germany may restrict some of the automatically harvested data that it is possible to publish on the map)
  • Country champions – can we use the Creative Commons network to identify and co-ordinate our country champions?  (They could also be specially identified as CC champions on the map.)
  • When will there be something more on offer through the map?  It was hoped that we would have something in place before this meeting and by the time of OER15 and OE Global next month we are hopeful that organisations and services will be added to the map.
  • How do we help the person who is looking for OER? Repositories
  • Connecting OER expertise around the world
  • How do we identify the core audience?  Are they OER advocates who want to improve the scope and range of what they do and the connections they have?
  • What kind of information can we provide to policymakers?
  • Including stories on the map – communicating the messages from around the world
  • Put yourself on the map, share your story – this idea was very popular with the discussants, especially in light of yesterday’s presentation on communication
  • Emphasis on the visual:  talking heads, video content, conversational style
  • Focusing on user stories provides greater focus country champions – and could also improve the long term sustainability of the project beyond its current funding cycle
  • We can start collecting these stories now!  Can we start with the ‘Super 7’ Hewlett grantees?  These are expert stories about the impact of OER in their own contexts and already have a pitch of appropriate size
  • What kind of format? a word limit (500? 1000?), at least one picture, and a location
  • From these stories we can extract the next priorities
  • Exercising editorial control by making sure that people send their stories by email
  • After telling stories and making connections between people, what is the next most important user case? A calendar of events? Services?
  • What does OER Commons do with the data that they have?
  • How will we deal with stories that are not written in English (or German)? The feeling in the room is that people should publish in their own language if they prefer and Google Translate is used to check basic content and country champions used where possible. Use of native languages will support regional conversations, such as around Latin America.
  • Activity / lack of activity can be a fundamental category that is easily understood

Making connections: #OER World Map in 2015 #openeducationwk

As we enter Open Education Week it’s starting be be a really exciting period for OER World Map.  Since funding for the project was awarded to the team there has been lots of activity behind the scenes to build the technical architecture that will allow us to map complex information in an intuitive and useful way.  I will let others who understand the minutiae of these things better than I do the explaining, but it’s really interesting to see things come together while we work as a distributed team.

As technical progress is made, so we move through to a new phase of the project where reaching out to the OER community to identify national champions and build a register of interested parties.  Open Education Week is a great time for this as people all around the world share their experiences and aspirations for open education.  In addition to a series of blog posts this week, we’ll be reaching out through a Google Hangout (see below) on Thursday.  But we are also entering an important conference season where there will be many upcoming events with an OER World Map presence:

  • On Thursday this week we have planned an online hangout that will afford the opportunity to connect directly with the project team and learn about ways to become more involved.
  • Felix and myself will attend Hewlett’s OER Grantees meeting in Sausalito, California (USA) later this month. This should be a great opportunity to connect with other OER projects and raise awareness of our project with the right people.
  • The annual UK conference for open education, OER15, will take place in Cardiff, Wales (UK) in April. Jan Neumann will present an overview of the OER World Map project. and I will also be there speaking about ethics and openness in education.  Other presentations are also concerned with the challenges of mapping OER, including those of Paul Bacsish, Terese Bird and Alex Tartowski. You can review the draft schedule here.
  • Later in April the OE Global Conference 2015 will take place in Banff, Alberta (Canada).  The schedule includes a panel discussion on the challenges of mapping OER including Paul Bacsich, Jan Neumann, Tel Amiel, Dan Wilton and myself; followed by a workshop that will help us generate authentic user stories for the world map. You can find us in the main hall on Friday 24th April.  I’ll also be taking part in a workshop for ROER4D which means there could be a chance to pick up some champions for the Global South.

My sense is that these meetings will be the start of an ongoing dialogue with the OER community about the ideal design for a map that will meet genuine user needs.  Even this brief review of what is coming up in the next six weeks shows the global focus of the open education movement, and how we will need to connect with all kinds of stakeholders in the world of OER.

To get started with OER World Map, and to nominate yourself as a champion for your country, sign up for project involvement at where there are lots of exciting things to come.