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SharedOER was a scoping study on the potential of shared, cross-border OER and syllabi in Europe. It was carried out for IPTS (Institute for Prospective Technological Studies), part of the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's in-house science service.

The aim of the SharedOER study was to make an inventory of the existing cases within the context of formal education (focussing on later years in the school sector and early years of higher education) where a core curriculum or syllabus is shared across borders (e.g. state, national, linguistic and cultural). It concentrated on the EU but provided relevant information from the wider global context.

The first part of the study located initiatives and organisations deemed relevant to this domain. It briefly described what those entities were working on and what they achieved and published; then summarised the situation.

Secondly, the study focused on one of the most recent cases, the Common Core State Standards initiative in the US, and provided a case study on it. For the case study, the main focus was to understand the impact that the CCSS initiative had on the production, reuse and dissemination of OER.

Finally, the study concluded by 'mapping' the domain to identify potential gaps but also innovative approaches and opportunities that may lie undiscovered, in order to better understand the drivers and hurdles that a common syllabi/core curriculum could have on the uptake of OER with the policy context of the European Union.

The three reports, all now published, were as follows:

  1. Towards a world tour for Shared OER, in full Scoping the cross-border syllabi/curriculum initiatives in the context of formal education
  2. The Common Core State Standards Initiative and its impact on OER
  3. Published 1 June 2015: Final report: Areas of further investigation focusing on synergies between cross-border syllabi/curriculum and OER in the context of formal education in the EU

Key exemplars of the material on initiatives and entities will in due course be added to the OER inventory on this wiki over the summer/autumn of 2015.

Study team

The study was led by Paul Bacsich. Nick Jeans was the major contributor to Report 1. The CCSS case study (Report 2) was written by Sara Frank Bristow. Giles Pepler played a key role in Report 3 which summarises and integrates the two earlier reports.


At the start of Open Education Week (9 March 2015) the SharedOER project released its first two deliverables:

  1. Deliverable 1 of SharedOER reviews initiatives relevant to Shared OER, concentrating primarily on the member countries of the Lifelong Learning Programme, with some detail also across other continents. The USA is not covered comprehensively, because the Common Core Standards are reviewed in Deliverable 2
  2. Deliverable 2 examines the recent development of Open Educational Resources (OER) and syllabi within the context of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in the United States. It analyses the impact that these newly introduced (2010) standards have had on the production, reuse and dissemination of OER in a number of states, as well as across state borders. A review of current state-based OER policies and practices is provided, along with an inventory of relevant implementation guides and content repositories.

The final deliverable was released by IPTS in June 2015.

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