Community-based Capacity Building ‚ Learning from 10 years of OERcamps

In this plenary, the diverse activities of OERcamps will be presented with the focus of community-based capacity building with the example of “”—a 48 hour unconference that took place online in December 2021. It was an international online BarCamp on Open Education and OER, held by the German Commission for UNESCO and Agency J&K – Jöran und Konsorten, which has been organising OERcamps since 2012.

Since almost 10 years, OERcamps have combined numerous OER activities in all sectors and fields of education: appr. 600 sessions and 300 workshops, more than 5500 participants, 77 publications, 10 webtalk series on OER and 12 online-courses. OERcamps constantly strive for community-based capacity building with their aims: OER qualification (know-how transfer on OER topics), OER mainstreaming (expansion of the circle of OER actors), networking and exchange (connecting OER actors), OER creation (support of OER development and OER distribution) as well as culture of sharing (experiencing the practice of openness and sharing).

OERcamps are the source of collective development and use of OER. Sessions were documented using collaborative text documents, blogging, podcasts etc. which were mostly shared under a CC BY licence. Hundreds of documents have been created within OERcamps and consequently innumerable OER activities were born, initiated, promoted, catalysed and pursued.

OERcamps provide a radical “open to all” approach by lowering the barriers to attend an OERcamp event or format by removing participation fees and any formal requirements, fostering cross sector collaboration, encouraging volunteering and peer to peer support for participants. They provide a base and a hub for the flourishing German OER community and made a first attempt to address a global OER community.

In concrete terms, the ongoing pandemic circumstances in 2021 enabled the first international “”: a 48 hour unconference that took place in December 2021 after just approximately 8 weeks of planning and preparation.

Having been in the BarCamp format, had a common theme but no pre-planned programme. The theme focused on the “5 Areas of Action” from the UNESCO “Recommendation on OER”. The programme was designed collaboratively by the global participants with numerous session submissions before the event.

A total of 1,063 practitioners, activists, scientists, OER experts and novices from all sectors and all fields of education from 87 countries and 21 time zones registered. 186 speakers submitted and conducted 114 sessions. More than half of the sessions were documented on video.

BarCamps in general and in particular open up new and contemporary formats for learning based on openness, sharing, personal meaning, participation and equality. These are the appropriate formats of education for a time in which we are depending on not only transferring fixed knowledge but also co-creating new knowledge.

The format of BarCamps has been a crucial part of OERcamps since 2012. Therefore, it was a great opportunity to scale the transfer of OER qualification, exchange, mainstreaming and promoting from a local to a global level in this participatory community environment: OERcamps are about sharing, discussing and negotiating solutions for a changing world.


:eye_in_speech_bubble: Presented by:: Kristin Hirschmann (@Kristin), co-author: Jöran Muuß-Merholz
:sun: Conference Track: OER Capacity Building
:spiral_calendar: Track Date/Time: 2022-05-24T12:40:00Z (your local time)
:speech_balloon: Language: English
:calling: Pretalx link: Community-based Capacity Building – Learning from 10 years of OERcamps :: Open Education Global 2022 :: pretalx

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Here you can find our presentation with further links and literature :grinning: