Reuse of educational resources


In recent months,theTowards digital (open) educational resources zonehas energetically set to work on the Innovation and Implementation of Digital (Open) Educational Resources project! The aim of the project is, in addition to the technical further development of edusources,to make it easier for lecturers to collaborate in sharing and using/reusing digital learning resources and to facilitate this locally and from a national support desk. Reuse is an important point of interest.

What is sharing and reusing educational resources?

Digital educational resources are creative work used for educational purposes, for example texts, images, audio or video, provided digitally. When the term ‘Open Educational Resources’ is used, it refers to learning materials that are freely accessible and open to revision. Reuse is often a reason for sharing educational resources openly. Collaborating lecturers can thus create added value by constructing a collection of shared resources that they can also use in their own way of teaching. There is a wide range of ways in which lecturers reuse educational resources. There are many different degrees of reuse. Lecturers use teaching materials provided by others for inspiration, mix them with their own or combine them with materials provided by others. Materials are also reused on a one-to-one basis, or small pieces are removed. More information on what digital learning resources are can be found in this animatie.


The Innovation and implementation of digital open educational resources project takes various approaches to involving lecturers and promoting the reuse of educational resources. The project team, consisting of eight people, will work in various work packages on the intended results, but also on the mutual relationship between the work packages, the relationship with SURF‘s activities, and the relationship with the project within the Accelerating together zone..

In Work Package 1 Innovation, we focus on the further development of edusources as a national platform for sharing and reusing digital learning materials and expanding it in terms of collaboration options. This will make it easier for lecturers to share their materials and for them to find and reuse them.

In Work Package 2 Content, we will open up various third-party vouchers (open, semi-open, and commercial material) on the platform. A content advisory board, consisting of subject teachers and subject specialists in various fields, will advise on which materials – open, semi-open, and commercial – can be made further accessible. This strategy of expanding the collection will help make the platform more relevant to lecturers and thus encourage reuse. It can make the platform interesting for various specific subject disciplines, but general sources that are useful for every lecturer can also be included. Good examples of this are the addition of sources from europeanaand theinventory of open textbooks.

The project focuses on organising support, both nationally via the support desk and locally within the institutions. The national support desk is the objective of Work Package 3. This desk will be an online knowledge centre for digital learning resources and will have a network function to facilitate cooperating lecturers from their communities and to link them to support staff. In this way, lecturers are better reached and reuse is in sight. We will also involve the OOO libraries working group and other special interest groups such as Media&Education, Blended Learning and Open Education in knowledge acquisition and exchange.

In Work Package 4: Adoption acceleration, we will work with institutions on edusources. The aim is to accelerate and increase the adoption of semi-open and open learning resources through the use of edusources and by sharing knowledge regarding implementation within the institution and with professional communities. This is organised in the arrangement: Accelerating with edusources. As of June 2021, 23 institutions, to varying degrees, are participating in the arrangement. The institutions will receive a suitable licence and support from a central adoption team with various relevant expertises regarding OERs, project management, and support service to supervise the deployment within the institutions. The conditions for participation by institutions are as follows:

  1. published learning resources (semi- and/or fully open);
  2. an ambition on educational resources;
  3. time and resources for realising the deployment;
  4. fulfilling an ambassadorial role in the Netherlands by contributing to the support desk or offering guidance to other institutions. The institutions must also focus explicitly on the reuse of learning materials.

The arrangement is not only aimed at institutions, but also at facilitating (from within those institutions) communities.These communities contain the expertise and knowledge needed to construct a high-quality collection, as well as potentialusers of the material.

Whereas the first round focuses on institutions that are involved in the digital learning resources zone or that have already gone some way towards implementing edusources, the second round will be open. All Dutch higher education institutions will have the opportunity to participate or to scale up!

Research evaluation

A study will be initiated to gain insight into how the various institutions and subject communities work with lecturers, but also into the strategies, that they use to get lecturers to use the platform and share and reuse learning resources. In addition to qualitative research, we will also collect quantitative data.