OER Research Hub (OER Hub)


World leadership in open education research


OER Hub built a collaboration network to provide a focus for research, designed to give answers to the overall question ‘What is the impact of OER on learning and teaching practices?’ and identify the particular influence of openness. This was done by working in collaboration with projects across four education sectors (K12, college, higher education and informal) extending a network of research with shared methods and shared results. The project combined targeted research collaboration with high profile OER projects; a programme of international fellowship; global networking and expertise in OER implementation and evaluation; and a hub for research data and sharing excellence in practice.  In addition to delivering research, OER Hub developed a range of free online courses, resources, and guidance designed to improve research capacity and co-ordination in open education.

The role of IET

IET’s role as project leaders was to articulate a vision for research collaboration based on open values and open practices, drawing on the unique position of The Open University as a leader in distance and open education to support a global research community.  OER Hub also helped practitioners better understand their own activities by sharing approaches to evaluation and impact. IET provided global leadership by empowering different networks to understand and describe open education impact in a variety of contexts.  As overall project co-ordinator IET was also responsible for publishing a wide range of resources that made the project outcomes accessible to a wide global audience and provided a template for open project collaboration.


Creating the first international database recording the impacts of open educational resources (OER) worldwide was an important step in catalysing and mainstreaming open education. Data, evidence and approaches from the project have been widely re-used, supporting nascent open education initiatives worldwide and winning several awards (including the Research Councils UK Engaging Research Award and the ACE Award for Research Excellence).

The success of this project led to the creation of a permanent OER Hub team in IET to run and deliver a range of award-winning open education projects including UK Open Textbooks; OER World Map; ExplorOER; Open Educational Practices in Scotland (OEPS); BizMOOC; and the Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN)

Research programmes


  • Hewlett Foundation


  • BC Campus
  • Bridge to Success
  • Community College Consortium for OER
  • Flipped Classroom
  • Gulf of Maine Research Institute
  • iTunesU
  • OER Wales Cymru
  • Open Course Library
  • OpenLearn
  • OpenStax College
  • Saylor Academy
  • School of Open / Peer 2 Peer University
  • Siyavula
  • TESS India