OER are on the education political agenda in Germany. After a debate on “School Trojans” in 2011, the topic was predominantly discussed in a grassroots community. In early 2015, a joint working group of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Federal States (KMK) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) highlighted the potential of OER in its report, particularly regarding an improved legal transparency and certainty for teachers wishing to benefit from innovative educational‐instructional opportunities provided by digital resources, e.g. concerning the topicality, interactivity and individualization of learning contexts (OER AG 2015). Following the report, BMBF initiated two studies to assess aspects of quality, qualification needs for digital competence, legal certainty and possible business models as well as requirements for connective informational infrastructures for the provision of teachers and learners with OER. The first study, ‘Mapping OER’, was conducted by Wikimedia Germany (Wikimedia 2016), while the second paper, a feasibility study concerning OER infrastructure was delivered by the German Institute for International Educational Research – DIPF (Deutscher Bildungsserver 2016). These two studies can be regarded as the starting point for a long term OER-strategy in Germany.
Drawing on the studies’ findings and accompanied by the publication of a strategy of the federal states (Kultusministerkonferenz – KMK 2016) focusing on open learning in a digital world, BMBF launched a funding programme in early 2016, focusing on two major funding lines (BMBF 2016). In the first one, an OER information office, OERinfo, will present an overview of current activities in the field as well as publishing ongoing developments. Since November 1, 2016, OERinfo has been established at DIPF, together with six acknowledged co‐operation partners [Higher Education Library Centre NRW (HBZ, OER World Map), Transfer Office OER J&K, German Institute for Adult Education (DIE), Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Institute for Media in Education (FWU), Learning Lab at University of Duisburg‐Essen]. OERinfo will also focus on screening potentials for the editing of custom information modules on OER use in specific educational areas, i.e. compulsory education, vocational education, higher education, and adult education. By this it will also act as an information and documentation hub for the projects of the second BMBF funding line. This line concentrates on a large number of projects in the educational sectors cited above, targeting the qualification of teachers and multipliers in all these sectors and raising awareness regarding the innovative potential of OER usage. OERinfo will work as a hub for these qualification projects supporting their networking and cooperating by its publishing activities and by organizing conferences and workshops.
KMK (2016): Strategie der Kultusministerkonferenz „Bildung in der digitalen Welt“ (Public Draft April 2016, Version 1.0). https://www.kmk.org/fileadmin/Dateien/pdf/PresseUndAktuelles/2016/Entwurf_KMK-Strategie_Bildung_in_der_digitalen_Welt.pdf
BMBF (2016): Richtlinie zur Förderung von Offenen Bildungsmaterialien (Open Educational Resources – OERinfo). https://www.bmbf.de/foerderungen/bekanntmachung-1132.html
OER AG (2015): Bericht der Arbeitsgruppe aus Vertreterinnen und Vertretern der Länder und des Bundes zu Open Educational Resources (OER). http://www.kmk.org/fileadmin/Dateien/veroeffentlichungen_beschluesse/2015/2015_01_27-Bericht_OER.pdf
Deutscher Bildungsserver (2016): Machbarkeitsstudie zum Aufbau und Betrieb von OER-Infrastrukturen in der Bildung. http://www.pedocs.de/volltexte/2016/11715/pdf/OER_Machbarkeitsstudie_Bericht.pdf
Wikimedia Deutschland (2016): Praxisrahmen für Open Educational Resources (OER) in Deutschland. http://mapping-oer.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Praxisrahmen-fu%CC%88r-OER-in-Deutschland_Online-1.pdf