Guidelines for leveraging university didactics centers to support OER uptake in German-speaking Europe


  • Martin Ebner Graz University of Technology
  • Sandra Schön Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft
  • Swapna Kumar University of Florida



higher education, educational media, educational technology, distance education, instructional materials and practices


Although less well established than in other parts of the world, higher education institutions in German-speaking countries have seen a marked increase in the number of open educational resource (OER) initiatives and in government-supported OER funding in recent years. OER implementation, however, brings with it a unique set of challenges in German-speaking higher education contexts, stemming in part from copyright laws and use permissions that have made sharing and reuse of educational materials less prevalent. The article discusses how instructional development centers, including university didactics centers (hochschuldidaktische Zentren) and e-learning centers, can play a key role in faculty uptake and adoption of OER, and concludes by proposing a set of OER implementation guidelines that leverage the expertise and interfacing role of these centers in German-speaking countries.


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Author Biographies

Martin Ebner, Graz University of Technology

Martin Ebner is currently head of Educational Technology at Graz University of Technology and responsible for all university-wide e-learning activities. He holds an Associate Professorship on media informatics and works also at the Institute for Information System Computer Media as senior researcher. His research focuses strongly on e-learning, mobile learning, learning analytics, social media and Open Educational Resources. For publications as well as further research activities, please visit his website:


Sandra Schön, Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft

Sandra Schön is Senior Researcher at Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft in Salzburg, Austria. She coordinates research projects within the Innovation Lab (iLab). Dr. Schön's research and work focuses on OER, open data and online learning. Her website is

Swapna Kumar, University of Florida

Swapna Kumar is a Clinical Associate Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, USA. She coordinates the online doctoral program in Educational Technology at the College of Education and teaches graduate courses on online learning, blended learning, and educational technology research. Dr. Kumar’s research focuses on the design, development, facilitation, and evaluation of online programs.




How to Cite

Ebner, M., Schön, S., & Kumar, S. (2016). Guidelines for leveraging university didactics centers to support OER uptake in German-speaking Europe. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 24, 39.



Models of Open Education in Higher Education