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OER uptake in adult education institutions
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

OERup! takes up the need of promoting and fostering successful implementation of practices with OER in adult learning institutions in Europe, with the aim of raising awareness of the value to be derived from OER, as well as supporting an OER-friendly environment in education institutions to increase participation in Open Education. The core of OERup! will be the development of a training package consisting of a blended-learning training concept and material on the topic of OER, addressing European adult education institutions (its management, staff and teachers). This training package will inform about the general principles, and new developments of OER with a special focus on pedagogical concepts on how to integrate OER production and use in the lessons plan, take up necessary specific tools and skills needed to create OER, and explain on the basis of practice examples how OER can be successfully integrated in the business concept of an adult education institution. Complementing many current EU initiatives that focus on the uptake of OER by policy means (e.g. POERUP, OEREU), OERup! will take this approach one step further and address its target group directly hands-on. Adult education institutions (with or without experience in the uptake of OER), Adult education stakeholders, but also Higher education institutions will be integrated in the development of the training in three steps: First of all in the regional need analysis, including desk research and particularly round table workshops; secondly in the training-review meetings; and finally through the uptake of single OER business model cases, developed and implemented in selected institutions and supported through online coaching by the consortium. Main results of the project will be an in-depth need analysis, summarizing the state of the art, best practices, existing policies and current use and development of OER in adult education on the regional and European level, a training package consisting of different relevant modules, delivered in a blended-learning concept and explained in a guideline, and finally a collection of good existing practice examples. All these results will be presented and discussed with relevant stakeholders from the AE and HE sector during different multiplier events organised by the partners on local as well as on international level. The consortium that will take up this ambitious task came together from five different European countries bringing different valuable angles and perspectives on the uptake of OER to the table. MFG, the Innovation Agency for IT and Media Baden-Württemberg, from Stuttgart (Germany), NIACE, the National Institute for Continuing Adult Education, from Leicester (United Kingdom), and IREA, the Romanian Institute for Adult Education, from Timisoara (Romania) who work closely with private and public adult education providers and their staff within their regions, having an in-depth insight into their daily challenges and needs; MENON, a strongly internationally oriented research and innovation organization with an extensive network of adult education stakeholders and associations on the European level; and finally the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) who will share its pre-eminent expertise in the production and inclusion of OER in Higher Education. OERup! has been designed to have a strong long-term impact on European education in the future in various ways: The finished training package is expected to be used and reused by a large number of adult education practitioners to learn about OER and its benefits, as well as to gain new abilities, acquire techniques and new digital skills and receive first-hand tips and tricks to successfully take up OER in their daily work. The first steps towards networking and collaborating among OER practitioners (including adult education as well as higher education institutions) taken during the project phase, following the principle of openness and common benefit, should inspire, hence promote and spread an open collaborative mind-set in European lifelong learning. In order to successfully take up OER in the European regions, it is highly important that the framework conditions are set, so educational institutions are capable to grasp the opportunities open learning methods and ICT provides. Raising awareness of the sustainability and potential of OER in adult education among national governments and their education departments and making them understand the current situation and challenges of adult education providers, should influence their lifelong learning policy and help them stimulate the uptake of OER by policy means.

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