the OERlabs have experienced a lot. Much of it can hardly be put into words, because project experience is unique and the experiences are closely interwoven with the situation. This makes it all the more difficult to write a technical project report for a project like the OERlabs. Where should we start, where would we stop?
For this reason, we decided early on to document our experiences and results of the project in the form of an "OpenBook". So we prefer to offer readers an 'open book': Open in two ways: Of course, we borrow from the Open debate by giving insights into our everyday research, work and project life, i.e. our practice. On the other hand, it should also be clearly understood in a sense that we are not interested in a glossy final report, but rather in giving clear insight into the process and our development, with all its ups and downs. Because a principle like "Copy&Paste" does not work in practice, not even in connection with OER. It is important to take a very close look at how practice presents itself (in our case at universities or schools).
Not only because of this, there is a certain similarity between our OpenBook and the idea of field notes in qualitative research. There too, notes are made during a situation itself in order to describe it. But they also serve as an opportunity to talk about the situation or to get into discussions about it. The OpenBook of the OERlabs also contains many notes, text, image and audio snippets that have already been published during the course of the project and documented in this way. These are no longer presented chronologically, but arranged thematically, so that a collage (i.e. content buffet) is created. In addition, there are new notes on topics which, from our media pedagogical point of view, are relevant for the (subsequent) sketch of a context, a project and concrete measures or tying our experiences back to the theoretical discourse. These have mainly emerged in the last third of the project, i.e. after the conclusion of the so-called Multi-Stakeholder dialogues. Irrespective of how the notes came about in detail: They give outsiders an insight into our concrete work and our (preliminary) reflections at different (abstraction) levels. This is one of the reasons why the thematic structure of the OpenBook describes the special features of the two universities in Cologne and Kaiserslautern first separately and then together. Various reference theories are used to explain facets of the project on the research side and to make them connectable to discourses in media pedagogy and university research.
We believe that the book-like, but multimedia and not necessarily 'stubborn' linear approach will help our readers find their way through and to the OERlabs. Thus, all participants have used very different ways to deal with OER, (university) school and (formalised) education in the course of one and a half years of project funding by the BMBF. At the same time there is the opportunity to comment on our experiences. Such feedback is again important in order to move from situational experiences to design principles. In addition, it might be helpful to relate one's own institution or practices to those that were usually in the foreground in the OERlabs. How do they fit together (or not)? What presents itself differently? How would you solve the problem? And what is the connection?
We wish you a pleasant read and look forward to numerous comments from your practice!
The OERlabs Team