Build a collection of OER with your professional community – a supporting roadmap for sustainable collaboration :async:

Lieke Rensink (SURF), Michel Jansen (SURF)

If you create, share and reuse open educational resources, it is absolutely essential to collaborate with other lecturers. Collaboration becomes easier in an active professional community. In the Netherlands we stimulate professional communities to work together and build a collection of open education resources together. In a funding program in the Netherlands 19 professional communities (and a multitude of lecturers) work together and experiment together what works best in this collaboration on OER. From nurses to engineers, form law to old Greek and Hebrew.

In 2020 SURF, together with experts on professional communities and technology enhansed learning and several active professional communities developed the roadmap ‘Build a professional community around open education resources’ that leads you through the steps that communities in the Netherlands take to collaborate around OER.

During the session we will discuss the roadmap for building a collection with professional communities. Participants are invited to exchange experiences with experts and communities from the Netherland and stimulated to use the materials and apply the steps of the roadmap to their own situation. We will discuss topics as: What are your ideas about collaboration with professional communities? What is the added value of the method and roadmap? How does it work in practice? What are the experiences of Dutch communities and how can participants get started with the roadmap themselves? We also like to collect more experiences and practical tips from the participants that we can reuse and add to the roadmap.


• Participant learn about working together on OER within professional communities, the roadmap and know where to find the materials

• Participants are invited to exchange experiences with experts and communities from the Netherlands.

• The participants are stimulated to use the materials in their own institution and stimulate reuse in their own country

Extended abstract: OE_Global_2021_paper_56.pdf 📄

Activity Details

UNESCO OER Action Area: Sustainable OER
Format: Asynchronous Interactive Activity
Language: English


This activity can be completed at any time during (or after) the conference.

Instructions and materials for the activity will be added below by the authors. They will provide specific details on how to participate and what to share back as a response to the activity.

1 Like

Watch our presentation and please share your insights.

We, Lieke Rensink and Michel Jansen, came to the conclusion that working in communities is the key to success for the use of OER. In the Netherlands we see communities on three levels:
Professional communities
Within a professional community, you collaborate with your peers. Professionals who speak the same language and share the same passion. As a result, they can easily collaborate on OER materials.
National OER-community
In the Netherlands we have a big national community on OER. SURF is a partner in this community. We’re hosting a repository and developing a search engine. We organize courses, meetings to share knowledge and we develop roadmaps.
International OER-community
And finally we want to work together with experts around the world. For example by sharing experiences and knowledge at international conferences.

A good example of a professional community is the collaboration of Nurses in the Netherlands. Fifteen of seventeen of these universities of applied sciences are working together to make OER available. There are several success factors in this example:
• They have a national education profile
• A vocabulaire: a common language to organize the collection on
• they have developed a quality model: a scale for lecturers to be able to decide the value and quality of OER
• They have a process in place for uploading materials with a copyright check by experts from one of the libraries
• they have a community platform with a community manager and ambassadors to promote OER
• they have several subprojects, around specific content and use in education

We’ve developed several roadmaps around the topic of OER.

One is especially for communities, a Roadmap that helps you to build a professional community around open education resources.

A question for you: Do you know a professional community that is also working on OER? Please share their insights with us and the international community.

To find out more about the Nursing OER Community of Practice Lieke and Michel mentioned, visit the presentation of Marjon Baas and myself about our research on the role of brokers in this community: Cultivating an inter-institutional community with a focus on OER: reflections from brokers :async:

Lieke and Michel, I’m really a big fan of building collections of OER in collaboration with your professional community. Thanks for highlighting the importance of this concept.

OEGlobal has been working at creating communities for quite a while at the national, regional and international level. And we want to do more.
If there is some way to collaborate on this, especially in the International context I’d be keen to discuss. Let me know if that is of interest.

I found it especially inspiring to hear about the work taking place around nursing. Thought it might be fruitful to connect you to Kimberly Ernstmeyer’s great project Open Resources for Nursing. They are definitely interested in international collaboration.

Just an fyi that for some reason your video isn’t playing for me. When I try to play it it says: “An error occurred. Please try again later.”

Thanks Paul! Lieke and Michel, if you’re interested in reading more about the OER nursing resources we are creating, visit the Open RN website. We have published three nursing OER textbooks so far (Nursing Pharmacology, Nursing Skills, and Nursing Fundamentals) with two to go (Nursing Management and Professional Concepts and Nursing Mental Health and Community Concepts). The Open RN books have undergone extensive peer review by faculty in the United States and Canada. They have also been uploaded to LibreTexts for easy remixing to align with other nursing programs. I would be happy to connect and discuss further!

Thanks, Paul!

  • The video is playing again.
  • Kimberly sent us a message.

Have a good conference.


Hi Kimberly, Thank you for your reply! I am going show your project and content to the OER community managers of nursing in the Netherlands. Best, Lieke

Hi Paul, Thank you so much for your reply. We also really believe in the focus on collaboration in communities! I am curious about your ideas for collaboration. We are very willing to share our knowledge and are interested in your strategies for communities! How can we organize this?!