Business models for the future

What should we be trying to achieve to help sustain Web2.0 research activity?

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Patrick McAndrew
10 February 2009

The unusual ways that business seems to work online could be providing opportunities.

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Gráinne Conole
9:53am 10 February 2009

I think this is one of the key challenges for the future - in a world where content is essentially free, where expertise is a mouse click away via google or twitter - what is the role of formal educational institutions? I think initiatives such as the Open Educational Resource movement and the SocialLearn project at the OU are exploring what business models we might need.

Paul Lefrere
1:21pm 10 February 2009

Other more competitive Higher Ed. models are coming, eg

- competence-focused: certification to global HR standards of formal competences taught in degree courses

- free for all aspects of, apart from exam/accreditation.
Examples: and possibly in vocational areas from others, eg the Work Related Learning and Development International Competency University

- personalised by learners not by institutions:
KMI is a partner in ROLE (EC TEL project) that is exploring ways for students to create their own degree programs, (including tutoring, mentoring and buddy systems) via self-chosen mash ups of components of free and for-fee learning opportunities offered formally or informally not just by today's universities but also by professional associations, societies and communities of practice.



Gráinne Conole
1:48pm 10 February 2009

Thanks for these Paul


I think it will be interesting to see in the next few years which models succeed and how the mix of different kinds of educational institutions are positioned in this new landscape.

Robert Schuwer
2:17pm 10 February 2009

At the OUNL we have thought a lot about this after ending of the external funding of our OpenER project. We have devised a business model in which OER plays a certain role. Our users are life long learners who for a great part do not have the wish to take examinations or go for a Masters degree. So we have compiled a list of services we could charge a user for. E.g.: extra support, extra tries for an examination, access to all kinds of resources. OER has the role to persuade a visitor to become a paying visitor (through a subscription model where s/he pays a monthly amount (inspired by the wordl of the mobile phones). Besides content we also offer all kinds of tools with which a visitor can find out what course of study will be worthwhile to him/her (tools developed in the 10competence project). We plan to start implementing this model this year. It will certainly take a couple of years to implement this.

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