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


Activity 8: Exploring resources for an OER course

Week-2 task is to construct a course in digital skills using content from the following OER repositories: Ariadne – Jorum – Merlot – MIT – OpenLearn – Rice Connexions.
The course runs for 5 weeks, each week another topic and with about 6 hours study per week.

Suggestion course, topics and resources
Here is my version of the OER course.

Course: Digital Skills Training
Learners: For new employees (trainees) at a media agency
Description: Should gain basics in assisting producing digital articles which includes photographs and interview videos.

Week Topic Resources Suitable
1 Introduction Digital Information The Virtual Revolution: Frontier thinkers at openlearn: video
social media: web2practice
at jorum:
format: video and document pdf
Safari – skills accessing, finding and reviewing information
at openlearn:
format: online course view in browser
only chapter 1, 2, 6 (4 hours)



2 Finding information on the internet Safari – skills accessing, finding and reviewing informationat openlearn:
format: online course view in browser
other chapters (6 hours)
3 Create Photographs / Use digital camera Difficult to find suitable resources Suggestion: Learners should use guide or resource provided by camera manufacturer, see on website. Let learner find resource.
4 Create Videos Digital Film School at openlearn:
format: videos
possible Track 2, 3 or 4, 7. 8, 16
5 Data / Internet Security Living with the internet: Keeping it safe
at openlearn:
format: online course view in browser
Duration too long, maybe let learner pick
only some chapters


Finding suitable resources for my course was very time-consuming and quite difficult. The first step was to have a first look at the given repositories, which were new to me. I found lots of resources matching the topic upon my search criteria. However, some resources are in a format, that can’t be viewed (by everyone) or the content is outdated. Other resources are not suitable for my target group or course structure, because content goes to much in detail or students would need to much time to work on.

The other main issue about using OER is, that i use third party content. As a teacher i need to watch those videos, read those documents and take those online-courses myself in order to be able to recommend/provide this resource to my learners. So, in week 3 and 4, i have decided to let the learner pick a resource by their own.

To summarize: For topics around technology that change rapidly i believe OER can be helpful, and if the resource is updated also time-saving. Browsing OER repositories can also help construct the course, for example finding topics, ideas or key points relevant to the planned training.

Maybe it would have been easier searching google for resources, as Nat has done.

Activity 4: Priorities of openness

This activity ask us to start thinking about the priorities for open education. We need to choose 3 from this list: Sustainability – Pedagogy – Barriers to uptake – Learner support – Technology – Quality – Rights

Imagine you are advising a funding organisation that wishes to promote activity and research in the area of open education. Set out the three main priorities they should address, explaining each one and providing a justification for your list.

My 3 research priorities in the area of open education are

Barriers to uptake
Individuals or institutions may care about financing, organisation, benefit, risk, time, culture, effects, attitude. If we know more about, this would help to better promote and build open education.

Open Education has an impact on teaching and learning. Some questions could be:
Do we learn differently in a open and/or connected environment?
How effective is this kind of learning?

Open Resources should be also used in the future, and this is a question of technology and formats. Will it be possible to view or read all the digital work created/converted today either by us or by professionals in 5 or 10 years?

open education on OU … bin au debii

bin au debii … this is swiss german and means something like ‘i am also taking part’. As the swiss german language is only spoken, you can write  like you think it sounds correct.

Recently i was part of the MOOC E-Learning and Digital Cultures #edcmooc at coursera. I have enjoyed sharing ideas, toughts and connecting with other people around the world. It was my first MOOC and it was a valuable experience. Now i have joined Open Education MOOC #h817open.

I am a computer scientist and work for University of Applied Sciences and Art in Luzern, its in the heart of Switzerland. In the e-learning center we consult and support the usage of digital media and technology for teaching. My other activity is teaching adults in webdesign using the open languages of the web html + css. Always looking to new ways how to teach/learn about programming in more creative and practical ways, especially when technology subjects changes so quickly i think open resources could help.

I support the ideas of the open movements, such as open source software and open data. And i am interested how these ideas could work in the field of education, thats my motivation to follow this class.

Looking forward to the ‘opening’ on March 16th …