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Sustainability of open education through collaboration

TitleSustainability of open education through collaboration
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
Authorsde Langen, F.
PublisherThe International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning
Start Page95
Date Published11/2018
Place PublishedAthabasca, AB
Keywordsbusiness models, collaboration, DOCCs, FemTechNet, Lumen Learning, MERLOT, MOOCs, open education, OpenupEd, sustainability

The definition of openness influenced the sustainability of business models of Open Education (OE). Yet, whether openness is defined as the free (re)usage of resources, or the free entry in courses, there always is a discussion on who pays for the resources used in these offerings. The free offering of courses or materials raises the question if OE can be maintained independent of large government subsidies. This article analyzes four cases that each have a different approach to OE and (financial) survival. The aim of this study is to determine the most efficient conditions for a sustainable OE business model.Instead of using different earning models, this research concentrates on the different aspects of unbundling (costs, income, and financiers), arguing that an adjusted Business Model Canvas can be used to analyze the not-for-profit organizations in higher education institutions (HEIs). The cases are OpenupEd, FemTechNet, MERLOT, and Lumen Learning. Openness plays different roles in the business models of the different organizations. For OpenupEd and MERLOT, openness of the materials offered to students and teachers (MOOCs, OER) is essential. For FemTechNet,.


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Refereed DesignationRefereed
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