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Open Education Innovation & Incubation

What research questions the project addresses, aims & themes

The objective of OEII is to formulate recommendations on how openness can help universities work more effectively with both external and internal stakeholders.
The questions the project is exploring relate to  what ‘open education’  and ‘open innovation’ mean for universities. For example:

  • Which levels of openness can be detected, and where?
  • For which dimensions, e.g. actors, content, accessibility, networking and so on?
  • Which kinds of openness provide an added value and for whom and for what purposes?
  • Is ‘openness’ a stimulating factor for educational innovation? 

How the research questions are addressed by the project (methodology and activity/environment)

The OEII project has conducted a number of case studies, grouped into three thematic clusters.

  • Cluster 1: 9 cases studies drawn from  initiatives related to Open Education, OER, OCW and MOOCs
  • Cluster 2: 3 cases studies drawn from  educational innovation and knowledge circulation involving  companies
  • Cluster 3: 2 cases studies drawn from   initiatives in which universities are exploring  social innovation and crowdsourcing.

A case study template was developed to collect relevant information in a common format from across the clusters. This template prompts and facilitates the recording of information relevant to the questions that the OEII project is attempting to answer. For example, it includes categories for roles and actors, and prompts to stimulate  analysis as the data is collected.   

Findings and outputs

The final deliverables of the project remain to be published, but the figure below gives an indication of the kind of  results that are emerging.  This figure shows the variation in the degree of openness amongst the case studies. The comparison was carried out  along a variety of dimensions  (access, free online availability, freedom of pace, freedom of place, freedom of start time, open source, open licensing, open ), and this figure summarises  the results.

More details are available in the slides from a paper presented at OER20133: 

Learning lessons of innovation from MOOCs, OER and crowdsourcing environments: how can universities work in the open?

Project impact

The OEII project presented a session of 3 papers at the OER13 conference on 26/3/2013 including the one referred to above that was led and by presented by the  IET team. The OEII session attracted interest from the Times Higher, resulting in an article “US Mooc platforms’ openness questioned”


Open, OER, innovation 

People involved

Andrew Brasher

Patrick McAndrew

Josie Taylor 

Project partners and links

European Association of Distance Teac NL - Netherlands
The Open University  - UK
Miskolci Egyetem Miskolc - Hungary
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Belgium
International Telematic University - Italy
Ελληνικό Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο (Elliniko Anikto Panepistimio) - Greece
Universidade Aberta - Portugal
Maria Curie Sklodowska University - Poland 


EU Lifelong Learning Programme (Erasmus sub-programme, Modernisation of Higher Education sub-action) 

Start Data and Duration

October 2010 - May 2013 (initial duration 2 years, extended) 


Research & Innovation