Open Infrastructure Award

OERF’s digital learning ecosystem

OER Foundation (New Zealand)

Open infrastructure for sustainable OER 

Over the last ten years, adhering to their “open” principles, the OER Foundation has established a fully functioning digital learning ecosystem for collaborative development and delivery of OER enabled micro-courses based entirely on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).  This is a loosely coupled, component-based system assembled from “best of breed” FOSS applications that can operate at internet scale, plus software code components developed by the Foundation to “glue” the system together and provide enhanced functionally. The OERF’s digital learning ecosystem is worthy of nomination because it is: 1) eminently scalable – during 2020 the OERu provided access to more than 200,000 learners using the platform; 2) cost effective – the entire server infrastructure is provided for less than USD8500 per annum in software and infrastructure costs; 3) innovative – learners learn to learn on the internet, rather than in a single application like a learning management system; 4) suitable for developing country contexts – institutions in the developing world with constrained budgets for technology can replicate the systems using technical recipes published by the Foundation or join the OERu Outreach Partnership Programme for free to build capacity to host these tools themselves; 5) designed for collaboration and OER remix as evidenced by reuse and remix scenarios around the world.

About Open Infrastructure Award

Open Infrastructure is the set of technologies that enables openness. It encompassess open source tools which enable the creation of open educational resources, their use in educational context, their curation, improvement and remixing, as well as sharing. The “infrastructure” is wider than just open source software, though: it also includes open hardware used in education, open standards enabling interoperability, as well as other open technologies that are instrumental for open education.