Sustainability in OERs - Block 2, Activity 10

Wiley (2007) wrote that there were three models of sustainability that could be applied to OERs. They are:

  1. MIT model, very comprehensive, costs a lot
  2. USU model (Utah State Uni.), works on being comprehensive but has about 1/20th of the budget that MIT spends. Use volunteer work, or student work as part of their digital skills courses.
  3. Rice model which has a very limited budget, tends to be a 'labour of love' of single or few individuals, and has no stated aim or core, it is instead a self organising compendium of courses.

We were asked to find which of the following popular OERs appears to fit any of the models.

Coursera, is one of the more popular OERs that offers courses from many institutions. It appears to be funded mainly through venture capital but does make money from a number of different areas, including becoming verified on a course which incurs a fee of $30-100. The closest model appears to be USU model.

BCcampus, is a Canadian state funded enterprise to tie OERs from in and around British Columbia that educators and studens alike can access for their post-secondary education. Their largest project appears to be able to make tertiary educational text resources freely available. The model appears to be closes to the USU model.

FutureLearn, is the 'commercial arm' of the Open University that is offering OER, perhaps in a manner that is similar to Coursera. So possibly closer to the USU model.

OpenLearn, appears to be closer to the MIT model. The modules tend to come from Open University’s own catalogue of current resources that it uses for it’s online course, but they have had time be be packaged and presented as a true OER.

None of the examples, from what I can make out, seem to follow the Rice model.

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.  -Will Durant