D1.1 Progress Report for the European Commission
Type of outcome: Internal reports with a public and confidential part
Delivery date planned: January 2013
Language versions: English, Executive Summary in French and Dutch
Target languages:All relevant languages
The Progress Report will describe the project's ongoing activities and management aspects according to the EACEA templates. It is targeted at the project partners, the EACEA evaluators and other EACEA project managers and stakeholders.
A Report will ((also)) be completed after each partner meeting.
The report will include:
- Evaluation of the ongoing activities, description of results and outputs of all active WPs.
- Minutes of the just-preceding partner meeting including a detailed updated workplan to describe the objectives and to outline the planned activities
- Minutes of any virtual meetings held since the last (face to face) partner meeting.
- Updated budget
- Future plans with a focus on sustainability of the project.
- POERUP's overall aim is to develop policies to promote the uptake of OER (Open Educational Resources) in the educational sector, not for their own sake but to further the range of purposes for which institutions deploy OER: wider access (including internationally and in particular from developing countries), higher quality or lower cost of teaching - and combinations of these.
- POERUP is focussing largely on the universities and schools subsectors of the education sector, but is also paying attention to the non-tertiary post-secondary subsector - the 'colleges' - since they are often the loci of the kind of informal learning that OER facilitates and also crucial to skills development.
- The original focus of POERUP was to focus on policies at the 'national' level (including governments of devolved administrations). However, in the increasingly regionalised and part-privatised environment for education, where some governments are actually withdrawing from setting ICT policies for their sectors, it is now felt more appropriate to focus also on policies for institutions, consortia of these and private sector actors who facilitate change.
- POERUP is putting substantial effort into understanding the state of play of OER in a range of countries, within the policy context in these countries, and as part of the wider development of online learning in these countries - but cognisant also of the worldwide moves towards Open Access for research literature.
- Indeed, POERUP is a project in the discipline of comparative education. Any such project carrying out comparative education has to prioritise and then tier. POERUP had to decide which countries were relevant to Europe and within the set of relevant countries decide which countries would be studied thoroughly by partners and which in a less thorough way, either by contracted experts paid by POERUP or via third parties not paid from POERUP funds.
- The countries POERUP has studied come not only from Europe - in fact with some notable exceptions (including UK, Spain and France) many European countries are not yet very active in OER. There is of course much activity in the US but it is so easy to spend (some might say waste) effort on meticulous documentation of the complex and ever-changing US situation so we have so far studied the highlights in the US but kept away from too much detail. Thus outside Europe we focus more on countries with linguistic, cultural or political links to countries in Europe including non-European OECD members and the BRIC nations: such countries as Canada, South Africa, Australia, Mexico and Argentina.
- The kind of global study that POERUP is doing is expensive and potentially infeasible within typical LLP budgets - thus POERUP has been particularly concerned to provide value for money to the EU. A key strategy to achieve this is to partner informally with the other projects and agencies (inside and outside the EU) to ensure that POERUP does not carry out any country studies which are already being done by other agencies. This has been time-consuming and has led to some minor project delays (no more than couple of months) while other agencies carried out their processes, and has produced a possibly fragmentary-looking set of country studies if judged in isolation, but the financial benefit of avoiding unnecessary country studies is substantial and indeed the only way that POERUP could have proceeded. There are many positive outcomes of the consultation process including good collaboration with IPTS, UNESCO IITE Moscow, OER U/ WikiEducator, CommOER/ Wikipedia and OER Asia, as well as with several independent experts. This has largely taken the place of and obviated the need for a formal International Advisory Committee in the first phase of the project, but has also led to an enriched set of IAC members for the second phase.
- The first round of country studies is essentially complete and now POERUP is turning its attention to a more delicate level of analysis. The key to this is to understand the ways in which OER communities can develop and foster activity without sustained long-term amounts of government funding. Particular tools for Social Network Analysis will be used to achieve this.
- Seven case studies for OER communities have been chosen across the various education sectors for analysis by POERUP partners. These include the schools-focussed projects Wikiwijs (Netherlands), Bookinprogress (Italy) and Hwb (Wales/UK); HE-focussed projects OER U, Futurelearn (UK) and Canadian OER HE community; and one MOOC-based project to cover informal adult learning.
- Although POERUP was not scheduled to start detailed policy formulation until the second half of the project, the requirements from EU entities (including IPTS and Open Education Experts Group), UNESCO and some national governments have meant that policy work in fact started in summer 2012 and was demonstrated in a multi-project OER workshop in November 2012 just before Online Educa Berlin.
- POERUP practitioners are reflective practitioners and with the support of an evaluator have co-developed a formative evaluation report.
- Future plans are well developed and have taken account of the progress in the first phase of the project (15 months) and the opportunities gained from wider partnering.
This is available at File:2011 4021 PR POERUP pub.pdf