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How can OER improve its value proposition for incumbents and for emerging models across sectors?

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Kathy Nicholson
2 April 2010

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  • How does the OER change business models?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities?
  • How can OER improve its value proposition to end users?

Kathy Nicholson
19:49 on 4 April 2010

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Patrick McAndrew
2:21pm 10 April 2010


Feedback: how to identify emerging models of business. Shift in thinking to OER as an ecosystem - and the need to diversify income/funding. OER cn reduce costs and increase quality - what is the value element.

Content delivery does offer a value model - distribution of free gives opportunity for strong brand: e.g. Flatworld Knowledge, TED talks. Aggregation is an emerging role. It is possible that people would buy free content if the repackaging was strong enough - the Amazon for OER. Adapting work - the extra 20% may be business as is making things easy to find.

Nick punt
5:58am 11 April 2010


Notes from the meeting: 

OER is driving a paradigm shift to move us from content driven business models to value driven business models. A content driven business model is linked to scarcity and control of distribution channels, whereas the free access to OER undermines distribution advantage - theoretically. If content isn't a business model, then what is required in a value driven business model? What is the value that needs to be created?

In our discussion, we touched on some of the most pressing issues in OER now: discoverability, fit into curriculum, remixing, etc. This is the kind of value that can be built around OER. Some specific ideas we discussed along these lines were the following:

There’s opportunity to build brand in OER. Flatworld knowledge is an example, as is TED. Brand gains mindshare and builds trust around OER content.

There’s a need for off-the-shelf content, as instructors don’t want to spend time assembling OER. This creates a business opportunity to build a consulting service that could provide instructors with this content, or a technology service to allow for simpler ways to create a course.

Convenience is king - people purchase books that they could very easily get at the library. Amazon highlights quality content that gets people to purchase. Why not an OER version?

Content services is an opportunity – localizing and customizing existing OER for certifications and other needs for target audiences.

In conclusion, to cross the chasm we must think about business models that makes OER adoption cheaper and easier for end users.

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