About the Evidence Hub for Open Education


your experiences with OER - as a learner, educator, researcher or policymakerOpen ChallengesPotential SolutionsSupporting (and challenging) evidenceProjects and OrganizationsRelevant Web resourcesResearch Debate - Claims you think that Research in OER allows us to make


The Open Education Evidence Hub aims to provide an environment to systematically interrogate the Open Education movement on what are the people, projects, organizations, challenges, solutions and claims that scaffold the movement. Ultimately CI-OLnet will build an evidence hub which represent and maps the collective knowledge and the collective memory of the Open Education community.


The Evidence Hub is developed by the Knowledge Media Institute team (Simon Buckingham Shum, Anna De Liddo and Michelle Bachler).
This specific version of the Evidence Hub is currently under the management of the Open Learning Network (OLnet) project, sponsored by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation from the US.

We are indebted to Harriett Cornish for graphic design.

We gratefully acknowledge use of PARC's prefuse visualization toolkit for the Map views.


Open Education is a worldwide phenomenon aiming to impact and improve Education at all levels from grassroots local initiatives to higher national and international policy. It should be no surprise then how difficult it is to understand and keep pace with the challenges, success and failures of Educational initiatives, projects, research, tools and practices. It is therefore even more difficult to try to develop an evidence-base of Open Educational effectiveness, and to identify the gaps in research and practice that still need to be explored to really push Open Education forward and enhance the impact it has on teaching and learning.

From the pragmatic side

  • Where is the movement at?
  • What are the challenges the movement still need to face?
  • What are the potential solutions to those challenges?
  • What is the evidence supporting those solutions?

From a more research debate side

  • What is the evidence that Open Education has and will have a strong impact on transforming the way we teach and learn in the 21st century?
  • What are the main claims that the Open Education Research and Practice community can confidently make after the first decade of research and practice has concluded?

To answer these questions we need a collective effort. We need answers that are built together by sharing, knowledge resources, stories and insights on Open Education research and practice. We need collective intelligence in action.


The Evidence Hub aims to provide researchers and practitioner in Open Education with a dynamic and living map of where the Open Education movement is heading.
We aim at building a social Web environment which works as a Collective Evidence Hub for the Open Education movement.

To do so http://ci.olnet.org/ provides OER scholars, researchers and practitioners with an environment where:

  • new projects and organizations can be added to the OER network,
  • new challenges and questions can be posted, explored and discussed,
  • new solutions can be proposed to tackle the major challenges facing Open Education,
  • relevant evidence and Web resources for the OER community can be shared to contribute to the evidence base of Education innovation impact on teaching and learning,
  • new claims of OER effectiveness can be made and investigated, that are informed by the OER Research debate and backed by robust evidence in favour and against such claims.


The Evidence Hub builds on research on Collective Intelligence, Sensemaking, Knowledge Mapping and Social Web technologies and provides an environment in which, by filling simple web forms, users can add their knowledge, ideas, interpretations, and see them instantly mapped within the global OER network map.

By aggregating and mining single contributions the Evidence Hub provides a collective picture of the Open Education movement. This picture can be explored in form of a simple textual interface (as list of organizations, claims, evidences, issues, resources) or in a more visual way as network map.

The platform allows different users to build progressively and collaboratively on the same content, thus facilitating collaborative knowledge production and discovery.

Moreover the system provides users with contextual recommendation based on matching themes. This means, for example, that if you have made a claim, shared some evidence or a piece of data on copyright issues other relevant data on copyright will be suggested to you for exploration.

The system also allows you to easily add evidence or present counter-evidence to other people's claims, thus triggering conversations and knowledge sharing between people who tackle similar issues.

Finally the Evidence Hub allows users to visualize, explore and be part of the social network of contributors to the Collective Intelligence Hub on Open Education.

The Evidence Hub is part of the Cohere family of softwares which are social web tools for knowledge mapping and collaborative annotation developed by the KMi hypermedia discourse team.

  • collect evidences by annotating free web resources, thus using clips of text to ground their claims.
  • Exploit advanced network visualization, search and filtering to interrogate and explore the network maps of claims, evidences, issues and themes.
  • Develop a personal evidence, claims, issue and solutions portfolio.
This advanced functionality will be slowly added to the Evidence Hub in the future.