Rob Farrow – A Innovation Framework for Open Educational Practices

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The European Network for Catalysing Open Resources in Education (ENCORE+, n.d.) is a pan-European Knowledge Alliance funded under the Erasmus+ programme. The project is running from 2021 to 2023 to support the modernisation of education in the European area through open educational resources (OER).

OER are one of the great recent innovations in education and learning.  OER leverage the benefits of digitalisation to extend equitable access to learning;  provide new avenues for the distribution, adaptation and iteration of resources; and support innovation in pedagogy and collaboration.   Innovating is a key part of how OERs are used, as resources are transformed for use in a new context.  But because of the siloed way that reuse typically happens it can be hard for others to take advantage of the effective practice of others.

Developing general awareness of the potential of OER remains a challenge, and one route to this is to highlight cases of exceptional interest (along with identifying the enabling software and services; understanding drivers and enablers; and capturing the meaningful interactions between relevant stakeholders).

In line with its role supporting the OER ecosystem and acting as a hub for OER innovation, ENCORE+ has developed an OER Innovation Evaluation Framework.  This toolkit draws on several predominant theories of innovation (Carroll, Kellog & Rosson, 1991; Puentedura, 2006; Rogers, 2003) as well as research into effective OER initiatives (e.g. Coughlan et al., 2019; Darwish, 2019) to present simple categories which can be used to consistently describe cases of interest.

This presentation will describe the background, inspiration and process for developing the Evaluation Framework (Farrow, 2021).  Information will also be provided on ways participants can share their examples of innovation through the ENCORE+ network using the OER Innovation Evaluation Framework.

Speakers bio:

Senior Research Fellow at The Institute of Educational Technology.  I’m the Innovation lead for the European Network for Catalysing Open Resources in Education (ENCORE+) and one of the coordinators for the Global OER Graduate Network.  My work critically analyses openness as a practice and philosophy, exploring cultures of openness, promoting open values, and developing tools and free learning materials for the commons.


Carroll, J. M., Kellogg, W. A., & Rosson, M. B. (1991). The task-artifact cycle. In Carroll, J. M. (Ed.), Designing interaction: Psychology at the human-computer interface, 74-102. Cambridge, UK.

Coughlan, T., Pitt, R. & Farrow, R. (2019) Forms of innovation inspired by open educational resources: a post-project analysis. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 34:2, 156-175.

Darwish, H. (2019) Open educational resources (OER) Edupreneurship business models for different stakeholders. Education and Information Technologies 24, 3855–3886.

ENCORE+ (n.d.). European Network for Catalysing Open Resources in Education.

Farrow, R. (2021). Understanding OER and Innovation.  OER21xDomains. Association for Learning Technology / Reclaim Hosting.

Puentedura, R. (2006). Transformation, technology, and education [Blog post].

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (4th ed.). London: Simon & Schuster

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