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Open Educational Resources at the VU

26 April 2022
The University Library supports the use and creation of educational learning materials in education. Open educational resources (OER) are educational materials that are available for reuse, free of charge under certain conditions. The VU Library helps instructors save, structure and share their educational resources so that they can be easily reused. In the last strategic conference, this topic was discussed extensively and it is an important item on the agenda at UNL (formerly VSNU).

Can you explain what you are currently working on?

From the University Library, we support the use and creation of educational learning materials in education. At the moment, we mainly focus on the deployment and creation of open educational learning materials, such as open textbooks, knowledge clips, and other materials. Our goal is to encourage the reuse of open educational learning materials within education.

What are open educational resources?

Open educational resources (OER) are educational materials that are available for reuse. Open education is an overarching term for everything associated with open schooling, for example, open pedagogy and open educational resources.

Do you have an example of what you do?

We help with the storage, organization and accessibility of educational learning materials so that they can be reused and can support creation. We do this by making smart use of existing technologies. We have made knowledge clips of Statistics accessible and supported the open textbook for the Street Law program. We are also helping the Economics and Business Administration and Pedagogy programs with the design of their curricula and the storage and retrieval of the knowledge clips. We explain the examples in detail in this video. You can find the VU's open educational resources here. To create enthusiasm around the subject, we are always looking for new projects to support and regularly give attention to this topic, such as during the VU Education Day and workshops for VU NT&L. 

Furthermore, we as VU have been participating for four years in the Acceleration Plan for Educational Innovation with ICT, where the reuse of digital (open) learning materials in the Digital Learning Materials zone is our focus. We have made various inventories, and developed products and services for support. Within the acceleration plan, the VU is also closely involved in the zones: teacher professionalization, study data, and flexibility.

Is this also being tackled nationally?

Yes. Now the UNL (formerly VSNU), the VU, and other universities are working hard to make Open Education a fourth program line (next to open access, fair data, and citizen science) in the National Plan Open Science (NPOS). This topic was also discussed at length at the last strategic conference. It was stated that the principles of Open Science should also be used in the policy for the Education domain and that frameworks are needed to share learning materials. We are therefore working closely with SOZ on this topic.