Open Innovation

icon Open Innovation

Outstanding innovation that brings a new approach to open education. Ideas or solutions that present innovative applications of OER to create new opportunities or address existing challenges in open education.

University of Michigan OERbit Project – 2011

The Open.Michigan team at the University of Michigan worked with a local vendor to create and deploy OERbit for the Open.Michigan website. OERbit is a Drupal-based publishing platform to share publicly licensed learning resources (OER/OCW) with the world. The platform was designed with OER/OCW in mind and provides a basic set of functionalities for publishers, including courses and resources-based navigation, flexible content hierarchies, Creative Commons license integration, RSS distribution, and RDFa output. The code is open source and available for download.

University of Michigan, United States

Smarthistory – 2012 has grown in direct response to the needs of students enrolled in introductory art history courses. Smarthistory uses conversation and multimedia to make art history accessible and meaningful. Part of the Khan Academy, Smarthistory employs Flickr and on-site video to re-locate artwork in its historical and contemporary contexts. More than thirty art historians with varied specialties have contributed. Smarthistory was visited more than 170,000 times from more than 170 countries.

Smarthistory, United States

Peer 2 Peer University – 2013

Peer 2 Peer University created MOOC Maker, an email tool for offering Massive Open Online Courses, using OpenCourseWare and other Open Educational Resources. It was initially developed and used for a course called The Mechanical MOOC – A Gentle Introduction to Python, which enrolled 8,000 learners in the fall of 2012 and early 2013. The MOOC Maker was subsequently used to structure a course through the MIT Media Lab called Learning Creative Learning, which enrolled 24,000 learners.

Peer 2 Peer University, United States

Sesamath – 2014

Sésamath is an association committed to making free educational resources and tools for teaching mathematics via the Internet. Sésamath resources are created by volunteers, math professors, and school teachers. The resources are developed collaboratively on mailing lists, classroom-tested, and improved with feedback from the teachers. After a consensus is reached, the resources are made available on the Internet. It is not necessary to be a member of Sésamath to participate in the creative process, but collaborators must be willing to work under a free license and open sharing state of mind.


Slidewiki – 2014

SlideWiki exploits the crowd’s wisdom, creativity, and productivity to create qualitative, rich, engaging educational content. With SlideWiki, users can design and collaborate on slides, diagrams, and assessments and then arrange this content in richly-structured course presentations. SlideWiki empowers communities of educators to author, share and re-use sophisticated educational content in a truly collaborative way. Existing presentations can also be imported and transformed into interactive courses using HTML and LaTeX. Slidewiki supports the semi-automatic translation of courses in more than 50 languages.

Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Germany

BC Open Textbook Project – 2015

The BCcampus Open Textbook Project has demonstrated an engaging and comprehensive approach to advocacy, implementation, and support of open textbooks in the British Columbia post-secondary sector. BCcampus recognized early in the open textbook implementation process that support for faculty and instructors was critical. They offered advocacy workshops, infrastructure support and services, a faculty fellows program, and the development of convivial tools for authoring and customization of content. BCcampus has provided a successful implementation pathway for open textbook adoption and use.

BCcampus, Canada

Open Chemistry – 2015

The University of California, Irvine OpenChem project offers a breadth of curricular coverage from first-year general chemistry to graduate courses. It has demonstrated exemplary faculty and administrative support for open education and engendered broad participation within the Chemistry department. OpenChem benefited from collaborations around access and accessibility with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, the California State University’s Affordable Learning Solutions, Merlot, and Netease, Inc (China).

University of California, Irvine, United States

CYP-Media – 2015

The Open University’s Tony Coughlan uses a blog and social media to share OER with resource-poor children and young people, groups largely lacking access to the resources of academia. He uses his blog to post evaluations of relevant resources to upwards of 1500 visitors daily and promotes these posts to a larger audience through Facebook and Twitter. Social posts are regularly viewed more than 10,000 times each and shared extensively.

The Open University (UK), United Kingdom

TESS-India – 2016

Up to 60% of teachers in India are not professionally trained and struggle to help pupils learn. TESS-India’s multilingual OER toolkit equips educators to understand open and active pedagogies in support of teacher development, increasing the use and uptake of OER and Open practices. The flexible OER design enables teachers to construct their own pathways. Available in multiple formats, giving users true open access and widening reach to areas with low and no bandwidth through OER/print/CD/DVD/online/microSD/mobile delivery.

TESS- India & The Open University, India / United Kingdom

BC Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit – 2016

The BC Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit is an essential resource for creating open and accessible textbooks. The toolkit introduces concepts in universal design for learning and includes user experience personas for people with disabilities. These personas are used to help instructors better empathize with students using their textbooks. This toolkit illustrates best practices for organizing content, images, tables, links, multimedia, formulas, font size, and color contrast. The toolkit has also been translated into French.

BCcampus, CAPER-BC & Camosun College, Canada

Central Repository of Greek Open Courses – 2016

The Central Repository of Greek Open Courses project coordinated and supported 25 HEI to develop open academic courses. By offering specifications, guidelines, training, technical solutions, software products, and coordination at the national level, the project contributed to the development of more than 3,200 open courses by more than 3,300 teachers. It has had a strong impact on the Greek Academic Community by creating more awareness of Open Education and OERs and serves as an example for other countries and communities.

Greek Academic Network, Greece

Badged Open Courses – 2016

Badged Open Courses (BOCs) were developed for OpenLearn to acknowledge informal learners’ participation in entry-level subjects digitally. They are syndicated as ebooks under CC license to multiple platforms for maximum accessibility. Learners study at their own pace and are assessed through Moodle quizzes. BOCs generate more than 10,000 visitors a month to OpenLearn. User satisfaction rates are up to 98%, and more than 57% say they will be sharing their achievements with an employer.

The Open University, United Kingdom

Ideas Box – 2017

Created by the non-profit Libraries Without Borders, the Ideas Box is a simple, scalable solution that gives vulnerable children and their families worldwide the means to live in freedom and dignity. The portable kit unpacks quickly into an autonomous and adaptable library, school, or media center, with access to the internet, open education resources, and community-defined programming. Libraries Without Borders has offered the Ideas Box in refugee camps in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe and aims to implement 1,000 Ideas Box kits for 15 million people by 2021.

Bibliothèques Sans Frontières / Libraries Without Borders, France

Alicanto Cloud Social Learning Platform – 2017

OPENPediatrics has launched the Alicanto Cloud Social Learning platform, on which OPENPediatrics is hosted. The platform supports the flexible presentation of multimedia under multiple licenses and permission levels and supports the creation of self-paced online courses. The platform also supports social learning through user profiles, public and private groups, and communication tools, including video chat. Alicanto Cloud was developed on the open source Drupal platform and is available as a cloud service to other projects (proceeds supporting the OPENPediatrics project).

Boston Children’s Hospital, United States

ENGAGE – 2017

The European project Equipping the Next Generation for Responsible Research and Innovation(ENGAGE) offers more than 100 OER for inquiry-based learning in 10 languages. ENGAGE has reached more than 16,000 pre-service and in-service teachers in 80 countries who are using science-in-the-news OER in the school and university in pedagogy with nearly 500,000 students. is designed to provide sustained professional development built around topical materials with learning analytics, MOOCs for just-in-time learning, and a brokering system for creating school-scientist partnerships.

The Open University, United Kingdom

Open Up Resources Middle School Math – 2017

The nonprofit Open Up Resources develops high-quality, standards-aligned, full-course curricula provided for free to school districts to promote instructional equity. In the spirit of OER, materials experts collaborate with classroom teachers to develop superb curricula that moves the needle on student achievement. Robust professional development offerings support educators in making the important shift to an inquiry-based instructional model. Its first curriculum, a middle school math program authored by Illustrative Mathematics, will be published in 2017 with a CC-BY license.

Open Up Resources, United States

OER World Map – 2018

The OER World Map is the most sophisticated attempt ever made to record and share OER activity around the globe. Since 2013 the OER World Map has collected and visualized data on the growing number of actors and activities in the field of open education worldwide. Its goal is to accelerate the evolution of the global OER ecosystem by providing a comprehensive and responsive picture of the OER movement. More than 400 projects have chosen to showcase their work on OER World Map. OER World Map is seeking to shrink the size of the distance between members of the global OER community.

hbz, German

Energy Sustainability Training – 2019

The Bi-National Laboratory on Smart Sustainable Energy Management and Technology Training is a platform where knowledge and technology are created to support the development of sustainable energy solutions for Mexico. It is an interdisciplinary, collaborative, and innovative initiative where government, private and public institutions, and national and international organizations contribute to the project’s success.

Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico

OERcamp – 2020

Since 2012 OERcamps have provided an opportunity for community building and learning about and creating OER in a radically open setting. The innovation of the format is simple but compelling: It is an open format in every sense of the word – open to a diverse audience and oriented to their needs. OERcamp has grown to more than 10 events per year, several formats, a book, a collection of CC BY licensed materials created by a community of practitioners, and in times of COVID-19, a series of webtalks, instructional videos, and a SummOERschool online.

J&K – Jöran und Konsorten Agentur für zeitgemäße Bildung (J&K), Germany


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Education For All: Ten years of open education luminaries from around the world Copyright © by Open Education Global is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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