The Higher Education Funding Council for England Open Educational Resources (HEFCE OER) review was undertaken in 2012-13 by the UKOER Evaluation and Synthesis Team (Allison Littlejohn, Lou McGill, Isobel Falconer, Helen Beetham & Jay Dempster) to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of HEFCE policy and funding intended to mainstream Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practice (OEP).
In 2008 the JISC Good Intentions report concluded that the landscape around learning materials had changed sufficiently to support a range of sustainable models for sharing and charted the long history of approaches to support sharing that had led to this development.
Most of the models highlight a growing acknowledgement of the need to build and support open and sustainable communities to share practice and resources. Indeed, such communities are often the key to sustaining the service, whichever model is adopted. This is the type of model most likely to encourage sharing between teachers, as well as learners.
The growing OER community is taking collaborative approaches to tackling the ongoing challenges of raising awareness, licensing and trust issues, standards and technologies. The challenge for the UK now is to ensure that our HE institutions are enabled to create policies, practices and the support for staff to accelerate the transformations required to contribute and benefit from this global movement.
It is also vital to ensure that we capture the real picture of use and re-use of such services and collections to inform future OER programmes.
HEFCE funding for OER initiatives followed this report in 2009 and, in many ways, provided some of the scaffolding and support for a variety of individuals, communities and institutions to move forwards in their own journeys, whether they started years before in other contexts or had just joined on the road to open sharing.