The OER Hub is situated in the Institute of Educational Technology (IET), at The Open University (OU) in the UK. The OU gained a grant from the Hewlett Foundation in 2006 to establish theOpenLearn repository, with Martin Weller part of the team. Following on from this the OLNet project, led by current IET Director Patrick McAndrew, established an international community of OER researchers, with Rob Farrow working on this project to better understand the key issues facing the OER movement and curate evidence accordingly.
In 2012 the Hewlett Foundation funded the OER Research Hub project. This sought to establish an evidence base for the many beliefs widely held regarding the benefits of OER. The project developed 11 hypothesis (such as “Use of OER improves student performance”) and worked with 15 partners to build an evidence base regarding these. The hypotheses and evidence can be found in the Evidence Report and are presented as maps and visualizations at OER Impact Map. Some of the case studies in this section detail the individual collaborations comprising this project. The current OER Hub team all worked on this project and established a global reputation during this time. Following on from this large scale project, which ended in 2015, it was decided to establish the team and OER research on an ongoing basis. We transitioned to a portfolio based approach, encompassing a range of open education related projects.