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Open Educational Resources (OER) - free learning materials available online for a wide variety of topics and in a various formats - are now of major interest to the EU as they represent a real opportunity to make education accessible to a large number of users with no constraints relating to time (asynchronous) or space (asymptotic). Although OER are extremely common, they do not usually guarantee any specific quality or protect users from unsubstantiated information or content, and therefore can often be unreliable. Groups who are disadvantaged from a socio-cultural perspective that would benefit most from widespread and systematic use of OER are most exposed to these risks.

The main aim of the EU-StORe project is to devise and implement a European inventory of open learning resources available on the internet following EU recommendations, and analyse the range of materials and open learning courses available free of charge, in order to identify those that comply with European standards on quality and draw up guidelines on Open Education.

In order to integrate this information within the learning activities of the EU, the standards will be presented on an online platform where the inventory of educational resources will also be made available. The project will also form a basis to support curriculum design and the work of regional and trans-national networks. The guidelines and standards will be formulated not only from analysis of existing standards, but by also examining European educational policies. The process of setting quality standards will also involve stakeholders at various levels (ministries, universities, European Commission etc.) through a series of seminars and meetings to look at how open education is conducted in various European countries.

The research activities of the EU-StORe project will lead to the development of shared European guidelines and standards that can be used (a) to create open learning scenarios in the future and (b) to evaluate existing open learning activities and resources.

The quality standards and criteria proposed by EU-StORe and the resulting classification of OER is a great opportunity to address the concept of quality and development of the target criteria, with a collaborative, bottom-up approach that will promote transparency and better training throughout Europe.

The EU-StORe research project, European Standards for Open Education and Open Learning Resources (GA 2014-1-RO01-KA202-002985, PROJECT: 2014-1-RO01-KA202-002985) is funded by the Erasmus+ program and led by an international consortium comprising: Romania - lead partner (Universitatea Lucian Blaga din Sibiu), Germany (Universität Paderborn and Ingenious Knowledge), Ireland (Meath Community Rural & Social Development Partnership Ltd), Italy (LUMSA - Libera Università Maria Ss. Assunta), Malta (Universita ta' Malta) and the UK (ELN - European Learning Network Ltd). The EU-StORe project started in September 2014 and will continue for 24 months.

Research team:
Prof. Gabriella Agrusti (Italian contact)
Dr. Valeria Damiani
Dr. Elisa Muscillo

LUMSA - Libera Università Maria Ss. Assunta
Via di Porta Castello, 44 - 00193 Rome, Italy

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