Federal Library of Open Educational Resources

The federal digital library aims at coping with the scarcity of open and high-quality educational resources by offering access to public collections created by and for educators.


Despite the broad availability of educational platforms, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the scarcity of open and high-quality educational resources to digitally support learning activities in the classroom and at home, as well as the digital precarity of society at large. To cope with such challenges and to support innovative and agile blended learning scenarios, the FREE project is designing and implementing a federal digital library of open educational resources (OERs) for various levels and study programs in Switzerland and beyond. It complements the Swiss Digital Skills Academy initiative focusing on helping teachers to develop the new required competences (d-skills.ch).


This federal library neither replaces nor competes with existing cantonal repositories, rather it helps to federate educational resources and make them public. Resources range from simple multimedia documents, presentation slides, and videos, to capsules integrating interactive tools, simulations, AR/VR components, active learning scenarios, as well as embedded learning analytics for teachers and learners.


The project follows a participatory design methodology integrating educational specialists, domain experts, teachers, interaction designers, and software engineers to fulfil the actual requirements of the practitioners.


Acknowledging that the only way to provide enough resources is to empower educators to co-create and share educational resources, the library is combined with the Graasp.org platform that supports to fully open educational resources life cycles, from their initial pedagogical design to their actual classroom implementation.


This project is carried out in three phases enforcing translational research. The first phase (2022) aims at eliciting the requirements and implementing a first scalable version of the digital library. The second phase (2023) aims at harvesting high-quality resources from other repositories and encouraging regional production by domain experts. Evaluation and adaptation of the ecosystem are also planned. Finally, the last phase (2024) aims at large-scale public dissemination and teacher training.

(Zwischen-) Ergebnisse und Infos zum Projektstand

In 2022, a first prototype of the library was released and evaluated by teacher trainers and trainees from PHB. Following their feedback and participatory design sessions between experts, the library was updated in July 2023. In addition to improving the overall user experience, social features have been integrated, such as “Most liked” and “Recently created” collections. The search is also refined. One of the challenges was to make clear to users the difference between sharing privately or publicly educational resources and publishing them on an open repository accessible worldwide, such as the Graasp library. We also worked on making the creation and publishing process of educational resources under Creative Commons (CC) licenses as straightforward as possible.


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