Activity 10: Sustainability models for OER – its about people’s involvement

In this OEDC 2007  report David Wiley defined sustainability as ‘an open educational resource project’s ongoing ability to meet its goals‘ (p. 5). Wiley describes 3 models of sustainability for open educational resources: MIT model, USU model and Rice model. We are asked to have a look at the following 4 open education initiatives and think about what model of sustainability they could operate.


  • single open online course
  • run by 3 facilitators, think on a voluntary basis
  • course is terminated, seems not to be updated
    (there may be some activities within communities, for example on twitter still see hashtag #change11)

I see ChangeMooc as a one-time initiative without any further follow-up. None of the 3 models apply.


  • does not create courses or resources they provide platform and marketing for open courses
  • institutions (universities) can offer online courses/resources
  • funded by the universities
  • managed by team (technology, management, marketing)
  • learners are not allowed to reuse course resources

From my point of view, coursera provides services not content. The content created and published by third-parties on coursera cant be reused. Don’t think this fall into Wileys definition of sustainability in relation to OER.


  • does not create online courses or resources
  • provides service: repository for resources
  • funded by JISC
  • managed by team (technology, management, coordination)
  • resources created and shared by staff in UK Further and Higher Education

Mix of MIT model (jorum as platform) and Rice model (creators)


  • creates and publish online courses / resource
  • part-funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • probably run and managed by staff at OU
  • resources can be reused

Similar to Jorum, mix of all models

Just by quickly browsing information available on their websites i can’t see behind the scene how a project is really sustained. Sustainability is mainly about people’s involvement. I like the jorum user stories, they tell me more about.

Wiley (2007), On the Sustainability of Open Educational Resource Initiatives in Higher Education


2 thoughts on “Activity 10: Sustainability models for OER – its about people’s involvement

  1. It was interesting to read your approach to this activity. I can see that people have dealt with it somewhat different. I found it a bit difficult myself to find the necessary information. And as you say just surfing the net does not give you information on how a project is really sustained. I also in particular found more interesting information relating to Jorum than any of the other platforms.

    • Hi Inger-Marie, thanks for your comment. Personally i like user stories, when i understand the user then i can understand the system.

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