The central concept behind Open Educational Resources (OER) is opening up the access to educational resources for stakeholders who are not the usual target user group. This concept must be perceived as innovative because it describes a general economic and social paradigm shift: Education, which formerly was limited to a specific group of learners, now, is promoted as a public good. However, despite very good intentions, internationally agreed quality standards, and the availability of the required technological infrastructure, the critical threshold is not yet met. Due to several reasons, the usefulness of OER is often limited to the originally targeted context. Questions arise if the existing quality standards for Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) actually meet the specific requirements within the OER value chain, if the existing quality standards are applicable to OER in a meaningful way, and under which conditions related standards generally could support the exploitation of OER.
We analyze quality standards for TEL and contrast the life cycle model of commercial learning resources against the life cycle model of OER. We investigate special demands on quality from the context of OER and, taking the former results into account, derive emergent quality criteria for OER. The paper concludes with recommendations for the design of OER and a future standard development.