The potential of ICT for modernisation of education and training has become a key priority for the European Union. In its Communication on Opening Up Education, the European Commission proposes actions at EU and national levels to “support the development and availability of Open Educational Resources (OER)” in education and skills development.
OERs are “digital learning resources offered online freely and openly to teachers, educators, students, and independent learners in order to be used, shared, combined, adapted, and expanded in teaching, learning and research.”, OECD, 2012.
The term was first introduced at the 1st Global OER conference hosted by UNESCO in 2002. By providing open access to course content, the development of OER initiatives have paved the way for free online courses, such as OpenCourseWare (OCW) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC).