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Towards a Sustainable Model for OER @ Open Universiteit

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Published on Oct 30, 2011

Results of a study to three different potential business models for OER @ Open Universiteit Netherlands.

Open Educational Resources encompass a wide set of resources ( e.g., learning materials, courseware, software tools, educational services and support ) that are freely shared within an educational community. There are many ways to do so, in terms of underlying technology, development, maintenance, support, and funding schemes. Downes (2007) provides an overview of these diverse models for funding, technical, content and staffing. But although several case studies and other reports on OER initiatives have been published (e.g., Caswell, Henson, Jensen & Wiley (2008); Smith (2009)), it seems that sustainable OER business models have yet to take shape (Stacey (2007); Smith, (2009)).

At the Open Universiteit (the Netherlands), experiments started in 2010 at two faculties to implement a new business model with a specific role for OER. Parallel to this, a study was initiated to get more insight into potentially succesful models to have a sustainable way to publish OER. Three different models were proposed:
? The current situation (most course materials closed and only a few OER, not used for regular education)
? From each regular course, 10% is offered as OER. OER is also used in regular education
? (Almost) all course materials are offered 100% as OER. The Open Universiteit will offer payed services to make it sustainable

Each situation will be described using the canvas for business models by Osterwalder (2010). Furthermore, current students of the Open Universiteit are interviewed to get a picture of what services they would be willing to pay for.
The paper will present the results of this study.

Speakers: Robert Schuwer, Ben Janssen

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