Domains21: Outside Their Domain

And let’s not forget the subtitle “Introducing German Higher Ed to Domain of One’s Own.” YEAH!  In their OERxDomains21 presentation Christian Friedrich and Katharina Schulz discussed their work to introduce the idea of a “Domain of One’s Own” to faculty and staff around Germany. They discuss the groundwork for getting academics to consider the possible benefits of exploring spaces on the web that provide a deeper sense of literacy, control, and application relevance. It’s a far-ranging discussion that looks at the real challenges of buy-in for a Domains project, which is nicely balanced with recalling that providing web space to academics and students has a long, rich global history that in many ways is the root of networked open education

The concepts and ideas around a Domain of One’s Own (DoOO) are not yet widely known or implemented in Germany. While there is a fairly strong ethos of independence in parts of Germany’s OER and ed-tech communities, DoOO has not gained traction.

In this session, we will present a project that started in February 2020. The project’s aim is to provide easily accessible information about DoOO as well as ready-made materials for those who would like to implement DoOO in their teaching. After basic research, we started by recording podcast conversations that explore DoOO from different angles, covering a student’s perspective as well as technical, didactical and strategic aspects. Based on these conversations, our own experiences with DoOO and available materials, we are developing guidelines and checklists for different stakeholders. The project Domain of One’s Own is funded by the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW HH) as part of the Hamburg Open Online University (HOOU), a cooperation of several institutions of higher education in Hamburg.

One of the impulses for our project was EDUCAUSE’s “7 Things You Should Know About a Domain of One’s Own”, which prompted the idea of producing similar materials tailored for the German Higher Ed landscape, while seminal projects at the University of Mary Washington and at Coventry University serve as important reference points. For the German discourse, discussions around digital literacies can provide a basis for starting the conversation about Domains.

In our pre-recorded conversation with Jim Groom, we share an insight into our experiences so far and talk about the challenges connected with advocating for a concept largely based on shifting control from teacher to student in a rather traditional higher education landscape like Germany. During the live session, we look forward to engaging with the communities around OER and DoOO by taking up questions and comments from the chat. With this session, we also hope to spark conversations around how to tackle more conservative spheres of higher education. Some of the questions that could be addressed are:

  • What can a conservative and largely publicly funded Higher Ed landscape gain from DoOO?
  • What kinds of reward structures, staffing structures, technological infrastructure and incentives are ideal for DoOO?
  • What kinds of success stories or good practices can you share about introducing DoOO?


EDUCAUSE (2019). 7 Things You Should Know About a Domain of One’s Own. [PDF] Available at: [Accessed 09 April 2021].

Coventry University Group (n.d.). Coventry Domains. [online] Available at: [Accessed 09 April 2021].

University of Mary Washington (n.d.). Domain of One’s Own. [online] Available at: [Accessed 09 April 2021].

Friedrich, C. (2019). Digital Literacies und Offenheit: Was wir tun, damit Menschen das Freie Netz formen können. [online] Available at: [Accessed 09 April 2021].

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One Response to Domains21: Outside Their Domain

  1. Eric Likness says:

    I wish Katharina and Christian all the luck, and if they can just get one instance of Domain of Ones Own. Even if it’s a sandbox/playground with some courses using it. Once it’s at a Higher Edu (.edu) geographically INSIDE Germany, it might be easier to convince people of the value. I feel like some resistance is not just UnivIT but also the not-invented-here aspect too. Once they get that first DoOO instance, it’s like breaking the sound barrier. Things will start to really bloom afterwards.

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