Template Sections for completion:
Case Study Title
Estonia country network
Case Study Country:
Type of organisation described by the case study, address of organisation,
hyperlink to organisation, hyperlink to case study source:
Network of national actors:
- Tiger Leap Foundation http://www.tiigrihype.ee/?setlang=eng
- The Estonian e-Learning Development Centre http://www.e-ope.ee/en/edc
coordinates the activities of two consortia – Estonian e-University and
- Tallinn University Centre for Educational Technology http://htk.tlu.ee/htk/in-
Interview of Mart Laanpere, head of Tallinn University Centre for Educational
The Development of e-Services in an Enlarged EU: e-Learning in Estonia. JRC
Scientific and Technical Reports http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/JRC42865.pdf
Case Study Contributed by:
Case Study Sections:
Please complete Section 1 – mandatory. Please complete whichever of Sections 2-10
is/are relevant to the case study.
From an analytical perspective we are looking for the following generic questions to
be answered in the case study:
• What constitutes open educational practice in this case study?
• What are the elements of innovation in educational practice?
• How is OER being used to innovate educational practice?
• How is open educational practice used to improve quality?
1. Mandatory - A brief summary of the institution to be used as a case study
About 500 words please on a description of the institution, its OER history
Estonia is a small country (population 1.3 million), where the key actors
around OER and OEP are well networked and the division of duties is well
developed. Main innovative developments of educational practices in the
country are clustered around open educational practices. The key actors in
the field are Tiger Leap Foundation which operates in school sector, Estonian
e-learning Development Centre focussing on university and vocational
education, and Tallinn University Centre for Educational Technology as the
key research and development body for the infrastructure services.
Tiger Leap Foundation dates back to 1996 and has been the main driving
force of change in Estonian schools. Lately focus has been on open source
and creative commons based e-learning and various e-learning related
content services development for schools. Tiger Leap Foundation and e-
Learning Development Center (founded 2006) train and support the use and
creation of content and network teacher for sharing their practices. The
learning objects repository and exchange platforms for the services are
developed together with Tallinn University CET (Elgg based Koolielu
http://www.koolielu.ee/ which is the main educational portal for school
teachers in Estonia, and Language Immersion Centre http://www.kke.ee/)
which with the help of metadata storing uses the resources of e.g. LeMill, the
tool for developing resources. In addition, CET is providing more than ten
courses via wikiversity open for everybody.
2. Quality – OER/OEP
How does the institution approach quality in OER? Is there any current
indication of a quality concept or process? Does the institution perceive
quality from the perspective of the quality of open educational resources or
the quality of open educational practice? How does the institution show
quality through OEP versus quality of OEP? What methods, concepts and
practices are used to enhance the quality of OEP?
Tiger Leap Foundation finances e-educational materials design projects which
are created considering open source based software principles and use the
Creative Commons license policy. All e-educational materials that are created
with the support of Foundation must be freely available and free of charge
for all users as they have been developed with the resources from the public
Tiger Leap Foundation approach to quality assurance of OER is based on
facilitator model. There are champion teachers representing different
subjects nominated for facilitating the quality of the resources developed by
the teachers before publishing. Training of teachers is strongly supporting the
activities around OER and OEP:
One of the main goals of Estonian e-Learning Development Centre is to
assure quality in e-learning. e-Learning Development Centre has its quality
criteria for courses to be financed, following the TQM concept. “E-course of
the year” is an annual contest that is organized since 2004. All lecturers and
teachers can submit their e-courses to the contest. The e-courses will be
assessed by e-learning and faculty experts and the best course authors will be
awarded. Quality label application procedure has been developed so every
teacher or lecturer can apply for the quality mark for their e-courses from
Since 2006 the ICT competences model for teachers, lecturers, and
educational technologists (also for schools) has been available. Every
competence in this model describes a skill that is known in their regular work.
There are several activities/procedures in conjunction to staff training that
help assess quality and achieve an overall goal – assure quality in e-learning.
How can OER/OEP innovate educational practices? What current innovative
practices are there in the institution? Please do not regard innovation from
just a technology perspective!
The new developments of educational practices in Estonia are clumped
together around the principles of openness. The prerequisite for gaining
funding is openness.
Learning materials stored in Estonian educational portal can be searched
through the European Learning Resource Exchange portal
http://lreforschools.eun.org/, thanks to the
What are the current OER/OEP policy arrangements at institutional and
national level across Europe/the World?
There is no single policy that combines all the aspects of eLearning in Estonia.
Both in the formulation and implementation of policies, Estonia has relied
upon non-profit organisations, schools, universities and local initiatives rather
than upon the Government. This has led to the establishment of various
foundations and consortiums that implement policies independently, though
technically they are under Government supervision.
What actors are involved in OER/OEP? Is there any evidence to show that
OER actors do not always promote OEP but “only” access to OER?
Estonian community acts as a network where the key players have a special
role in the landscape of OER and OEP. Tallinn University CET is focussing on
developing infrastructure, Tiger Leap Foundation and Estonian e-Learning
centre manage the projects and train and network the teachers. International
cooperation is seen fundamental for national development.
What OER/OEP initiatives can be evidenced? Is there any evidence to show
that OER initiatives do not always promote OEP but “only” access to OER?
7. Open Educational Practices
Can you identify some case studies/ descriptions which form the illustrative
base for a more general model of OEP?
New developments are based on web 2.0 and social networking concepts.
The focus of the developments in the country is on the user side.
8. Tools and Repositories
What tools and repositories are being used to deliver OER/OEP? For example
Are there any other special tools for OER/OEP? e.g. Cloudworks, in
which practices can be discussed and validated?
Are there any tools for Visualisation? e.g. CompendiumLD
Are there any tools for Argumentation? e.g. Cohere
The core of the new version of the educational portal Koolielu is standard
based repository of learning objects. Metadata of learning objects in Waramu
is compatible with the Learning Object Metadata (LOM) application profile of
Learning Resource Exchange (LRE) created by the European Schoolnet. The
connection between the portal and the repository is based on Waramu
Publishing Interface Web service
Thanks to standard based metadata and Web services it is connected to the
European networks of learning repositories. With the FIRE network it is
connected trough federated search and with the LRE network it is connected
trough metadata harvesting. Learning materials stored in Estonian
educational portal can be searched through the European Learning Resource
Exchange portal http://lreforschools.eun.org/.
LOM applications enable different ways for content classification. In
European projects the Multilingual Thesaurus (http://lre-thesaurus.eun.org/)
is used. Pedagogical experts in Estonia find that insufficient because it
structures the content in very broad level – suitable for all European
countries and not taking account national specificity. For classification
purposes the hierarchical structure of Estonian curriculum was integrated
with the repository. This was based on the fact that curriculum is the best
way for the teachers to understand the content. In educational portal all
learning materials are connected with the topics of national curriculum.
Can you identify any strategies for organisations to use OER/OEP? Can you
identify any business models that promote OER/OEP?
Innovation in education in Estonia is grounded around open source/OER/OEP
10. Current barriers and enablers
What are the barriers to the use of OER/OEP? Is there any evidence to how
these barriers have been overcome? What are the enablers to the use of OER/
Enablers: openness of activities, good open practices illustrating how
resources can be developed and used, training of teachers.