Open Educational Resources (OER) Policies

falcon's picture

Individuals and smaller organizations are sharing content in the H5P OER Hub. Large institutions, for instance universities, with thousands of H5Ps that several individuals within the organization are eager to share, typically are not sharing their content. The reason is often that the university lack OER policies. Questions like the below need to be answered before the organization may start sharing their content:

  1. What content should we share?
  2. Who decides what content we should share?
  3. How do we make sure that we only share content that we are allowed to share? (i.e. any third party multimedia for instance must have a license compatible with the licenses we choose for the content we share)
  4. Which licenses should we use when sharing content?
  5. Who should be listed as the authors/originators of the content?
  6. How do we make sure that those sharing and approving the sharing have sufficient training and understanding of Creative Commons and other licenses?
  7. What content should we reuse from the H5P OER Hub?
  8. Should anyone be allowed to reuse content from the H5P OER Hub?
  9. How do we handle copyright infringement claims?

OER has the potential to revolutionize how content is created. In the future authors may be building on a common body of interactive representations of knowledge. Content that anybody may use for free, repurpose and use. Content that is far too advanced for organizations to build for themselves, but possible to build through a global content collaboration framework. Content that adapts to the users' learning styles, prior knowledge and context.

One hurdle on the way is to increase the understanding of OER and build solid OER policies. Has your organization built OER policies that might help with the above? Any thoughts or policies you would like to share?

falcon's picture

Some universities I talk to have policies that say that their librarians are to approve all OER they will be sharing before it gets shared. We will add an improver role and process before the OER Hub officially launches.

otacke's picture

I am not sure if this is a German issue, but at German universities, a large portion of teaching is supported and done by PhD students and PhDs, not only by professors. While the latter own content that they create and could decide freely whether they want to share it as an open resource, genuine content created by PhD studens and PhDs is owned by the university. So, potentially one could add one more obstacle (although it might be included in #2):

10. As a PhD student or PhD, am I allowed to share my own work freely?

Nothing that H5P can do to help with that, I guess, but might me related to OER policies in some places, too.

Another aspect could be encouragement:

11. How can we, as a university, encourage teaching staff to share H5P content?

johncurr's picture

If cases when a content has been removed or withdrawn from the Hub environment - in the worst case, because it violates copyright rules/laws - but was previously saved/downloaded by other users, how will these users be noticified so that they stop using/sharing this piece of content?

falcon's picture

Good point! In an upcoming version, hopefully the first official version, it will be possible to "inform the hub" about potential copyright infringements in content or subcontent and the Hub will inform users of the content what parts of their content they should consider removing.

In some cases, there isn't much of an organized OER effort at the institutional level. And so, these questions are not asked (although I agree they should be). Rather, authoring OER, especially using h5p, is often an individual effort undertaken by the educator to 1) improve their students' experience with something more interactive, or 2) move away from software they currently use which might be expensive, difficult to maintain, etc.

Also, in my experience, the authoring platform for h5p is centralized. Here in Ontario Canada we have (Studio). Often faculty will author h5p within Studio and embed the h5p in their LMS, textbook, etc. In regards to Studio, it's interesting: colleges and universities who make use of Studio will host training sessions to cover the questions you mentioned. For example: However, the training is just that: training. There is no oversight at the institutional level as to what people are authoring or sharing (and I'm not sure there ever could be with OER).

There is also an example of a institutional-level h5p platform: You'll note that this site is specific to one department within one institution. As such, there is a little bit of moderation of content. 

Lastly, since we are on the topic of Policies and the OER Hub, there are a couple of notes from my experience with H5P OER Hub that I'll share:

  • When h5p is shared in the hub, it seems to be uploaded to an external server. If this is truly the case, many Canadian institutions might not be able to share to the Hub due to institutional privacy and security issues.
  • Also, this same feature above may introduce state/version issues unless it pulls the latest version of the h5p automatically at regular intervals.
  • When h5p is shared in the Hub, the name(s) of the author should be included and indexed - it seems that only the name of the site/publishing platform is included (see:
  • It would be ideal if users could search by author name, location, or publishers
  • It would be ideal if users could be notified when their share is approved, remixed, etc.
  • It would be ideal if users could see how others are re-using their shared h5p, even if it's just a url to the remix.

There is a lot of interest and everyone I speak with are looking forward to the successful launch of this initiative.

falcon's picture

Thanks a lot for the feedback! Yes, the H5P Hub approach is a bit different since it requires that the organization buys in and approves it, and in the process trigger organizations to think about policies. We interviewed a lot of people when planning the hub, but we didn't expect the lack of policies and the need for organizations to approve it to slow it down as much as it seems to be doing. It might be that we should establish a second approach allowing teachers who are eager to share their work to share through a portal were they don't need to wait for the approvals from their organization. The great benefit of being able to share from their organization's H5P platform is of course that they will be able to easily keep the hub version up to date while they update their "local" version.

Regarding your comments:

  1. Yes, we store the H5Ps in Ireland (AWS). And it is likely to be stored on hundreds of other servers as well in many regions of the world as is the nature of OER. We probably can't avoid that, but have made it more clear in the terms at least.
  2. The author may push new versions seamlessly(two clicks), and in a future version auto sync will also be made available, but if the author has work in progress auto sync not be ideal.
  3. Agree
  4. Agree, author name and publisher will at least be added soon (and language is already there). Search is far from done.
  5. Agree
  6. Agree, will also probably be a like button and those who share may be notified and see likes in their dashboard.