As a recipient of a 2021 Open Infrastructure Award for Excellence from Open Education Global, the OER Foundation has achieved international recognition for its Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) digital learning ecosystem.
The OER Foundation’s digital learning ecosystem was recognised for the Open Infrastructure Award because it is:
- cost effective
- designed for collaboration
- suitable for use in developing countries
The Open Infrastructure Award was introduced in 2021 to highlight the important of the wider ecosystem that supports open education.
Over the last ten years, adhering to the OER Foundation’s (OERF’s) “open” principles, the organisation has established a fully functioning digital learning ecosystem for collaborative development and delivery of OER enabled micro-courses based entirely on FOSS. This is a loosely coupled, component-based system assembled from “best of breed” FOSS applications that can operate at internet scale, plus additional Foundation-developed strategic software components – all FOSS as well – to “glue” parts of the system together and provide enhanced functionally.
The OERF’s digital learning ecosystem was recognised for the Open Infrastrucuture Award because it is:
- eminently scalable – during 2020 the OERu provided access to more than 200,000 learners using the platform;
- cost effective – the entire server infrastructure is provided for less than USD8500 per annum in software and infrastructure costs, with no per-learner costs;
- innovative – learners learn about learning on the internet by using the internet, rather than within a single application like a learning management system;
- suitable for developing country contexts – institutions in the developing world, often with constrained budgets for technology, can replicate the systems using technical recipes published by the Foundation or they join the OERu Outreach Partnership Programme for free to build capacity to host these tools themselves; and
- designed for collaboration and OER remix as evidenced by reuse and remix scenarios around the world.