OERF talk:Strategy

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Community Strategic Actions (1)

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(a thought/reminder)

Does the OERF already have a page of resources for champions of OER to share with potential users (institutions, organisations) of WE and other similar OER repositories/communities? (to support community strategic action)

Resources could include:

  • advocacy "how to" (for the champions)
  • motivational documents (why OER/WE) for educational institutions or NGOs etc. who routinely develop and disseminate educational materials
  • draft policy documents for various kinds of organisations (e.g. primary, secondary, tertiary, vocational, NGOs, ...)
  • "how to" documents (from concept to implementation and extension)
  • strategic actions list: what you can do to advance the cause of open education - within your institution, or as an evangelist to organisations you encounter who could benefit, ....
  • Additional resources

Inviting comments on our strategic plan (1)

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Please post your comments and suggestions for improving our strategic plan on this page.

The OER Foundation subscribes to open philanthropy which means that all our planning documents are drafted openly and transparently in the wiki :-)

Look forward to reading and implementing your feedback


Hi all,

Good work so far. Well done!

Some comments here.



BIG thanks for all your time, effort and critical review. By way of thanks, I've provided a number of comments in text here:


Will be taking this feedback on board when refining the strategy document.


Member Orientation (1)

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I very much like the feel of this document. I believe that it invites the reader to think about the nature of OER, their interests, and how the Foundation can help. This I believe is critical to any voluntary membership organization. Like all of us, I have read numerous strategic plans, and am very frequently left asking myself if the authors actually understand that the organization exists for purposes beyond its own growth, preservation, etc. that in fact, the organization is providing services to a community. When membership organizations seem unable to create strategic artifacts that clearly put their members at the center of their strategies, in my eyes, it calls into question the viability and orientation of the organization. -Ken Udas

Hi Ken,

Thank you very much for this feedback. The raison d'etre for the OER Foundation is for purposes beyond our own existence --- so to speak. If the members don't derive benefit from what we do -- we have no reason for existence :-)

Not sure whether the strategy document succeeds in communicating this effectively -- while high level and abstract, it is an internal planning document. Paradoxically -- as an open organisation we can publish our planning documents openly and transparently for all to see.

Again thanks for the feedback -- we've still got lots to learn about open planning etc.


Comments (9)

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Good work Wayne. I generally see no major changes, but have a couple of thoughts (actually three, but Alison already mentioned one):

In the figure on the relationship between revenue, operational cost, etc. (which by the way is unnumbered) there is a step change in the operational cost at an unspecified time. What is the reason for that change?

In the Financial Sustainability Model section there is this line "Contributing members will have voting rights in determining priorities for commissioned OER content development projects funded through surplus revenue investments." -- I have some concerns on this, especially since is the only place in the document discussing any voting rights. How do contributing members fit in to the whole scheme (voting-wise I mean)?

Finally, as an aside, I like your figures like Figure 5. I am curious how you created them?

Regards, John

JohnWS 11:25, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi John,

Really appreciate the feedback and suggestions for improvement.

I'll get the Figure numbered -- well spotted! We envisage a reduction in the membership fee per institution once we have achieved a critical mass threshold. The strategy is scalable which means we will become more cost-efficient as the number of members increases. You're right -- this needs corresponding explanations in the text.

The voting concept refers directly to determining identifying course materials which will be developed, where authors and professionals are paid for their services. For example, 10 institutions may decide to develop a foundation course in Economics. However the detail of how the voting will work and how we will identify priorities still needs to be decided. Ideally the founding members should be the ones to decide on how this will work. Note that this has nothing to do with WikiEducator's community governance model. The voting is restricted paid content development projects licensed under CC-BY or CC-BY-SA.

Nothing special about the figures. I drew these figure free hand using coloured felt-tip pens and scanned the resultant figures for uploading in the wiki.

Thanks again. Wayne

Comments from Rory McGreal - Athabasca Univeristy (1)

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In the freedoms of all educators to teach with the technologies and contents of their choice, hence our commitment to Free/Libre and Open Source technology tools and free content.

RORY>> Remove “all”. (Actually removing “all” and “every” is generally a good practise throughout the document unless you really mean it.)
Good observation -- thanks, will get this amended. We'll we do believe in the values of freedom of choice for all educators :-), but I do see your point and will review the document --Wayne Mackintosh 22:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
So, are you saying that educators who wish to use paper correspondence rather than the Internet should be free to do so? Who pays for the paper?  Who inputs the data for that teacher??  This needs qualifying somewhat.
The freedom refers to the choice not the cost --- you're right the statement needs clarification. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

That educational content is unique - and by working together we can improve the technologies we use as well as the reusability of digital learning resources.

RORY>> I don’t understand what the purpose of this value is. I would think that at least some if not a lot of educational content is NOT unique. Also, some content designed for other purposes can be used educationally – Is that unique? Why do you need to add “unique”?
That's a good point --- the issue here is that we have an educational focus with the objective to develop resources that facilitate learning. Clearly this value needs further work. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

In a forward-looking disposition working together to find appropriate and sustainable solutions for e-learning futures.

RORY>> Don’t we also believe in learning from experience. “forward-looking” seems to discount this.; Pragmatism is good, but empiricism has its place.
Absolutely! And we also believe in learning from our mistakes :-) I'll go back and work on the statement to capture these ideas as well. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)


RORY>>> Wouldn’t  the key initiative be to increase the number of OER resources AND their actual implementation in learning environments?? If the foundation is not charged with doing this then who is??
I had assumed that increasing the inventory of OER and their implementation to be integral components of a sustainable eco-system. That said -- in the absence of clearly articulated objectives that focus on these dimensions, they are easily lost. Will go back and refine the objective statements.
Wouldn’t research into the benefits (economic, pedagogical and administrative) of using OERs be an important part of the initiatives??
They most definitely are! I'll go back and see where this fits within the strategic initiatives etc. Primarily the OER foundation is not a research agency -- however, we can play an important role in facilitating and focusing research attention, especially since many of our prospective members have considerable research capability. Good point. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Situtation analysis

RORY>> Wouldn’t the underuse of available OERs be included in any analysis??
Should be -- to the best of my knowledge, the research is a little thin in this area, but will see what I can find. Should definitely form part of the environmental analysis. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

OER environmental scan

RORY>>> Can you add a bullet for AU Press as the first open access university press, publishing open access books and journals.
Absolutely -- how could I overlook this <blush>. Open access publishing is a significant component of the value chain network. Will definitely be adding the bullet :-) --Wayne Mackintosh 22:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Learning infrastructure is fostered, not built: Self-sustaining OER systems will only be achieved when social, organizational, and cultural issues are resolved in tandem (Atkins, Brown and Hammond 2007:56)[1]. Copied from attachment to the wiki

RORY>> If they say “only” they are mistaken. Surely, it is possible that sustainability can be achieved if issues are resolved separately?? Or even possible if some issues are not resolved. They should use “best” rather than “only”.
I agree -- but don't take responsibility for this one. Could add a clarifying footnote rather than amending the source quotation. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

AIM Big goal

The aim of the OER Foundation is to foster the development of a sustainable OER ecosystem

RORY>>>  Should this goal not incorporate the use of  a growing body of OERs? After all it could be easily made sustainable by not growing. There needs to be some reference to the ongoing development AND use of OERs in a sustainable system. NOT just a sustainable system.
Agreed as mentioned above -- further refinement is required, and these should be incorporated as key outcomes (and indicators of success) in the strat plan. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

A sustainable OER ecosystem will require individuals, governments, and institutions using principles of self-organisation to collaborate on OER projects.

RORY>>>> “require” is to strong a word – possible: “depend on”  and what happens if we get funding from orgs that do not use “principles of self-organization”??? Do we refuse? Why must ALL contributors have to be self-organized? That does not seem to make sense to me.
Agreed --- "depend" is far better. Its not required that all contributors have to be self-organised. Refering to the concept of self-organisation here confuses rather than clarifies --- will look at rewording this statement. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Learners who will benefit from:

  • lower cost open textbooks,
RORY>>> Why limit this to just textbooks??? What about wikis that aren’t texts?? Multimedia? Etc.?
Excellent point -- will make the necessary changes. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
BIG thanks Rory -- this is valuable feedback and will contribute to a more robust and meaningful strategy. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Comments (6)

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Wayne, Very, very inspiring. I'm honored to be part of this effort. My thanks to you.

Thanks Alison, appreciate that :-) Also --- thanks for your detailed and thoughtful comments. Responses embedded below as I work through the refinements to the document --- --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

The strategy is very clearly defined and supported. I can't think of anything major to suggest. The examples seem to bend more toward upper level educational sectors, but don't think that's inappropriate -- I'm guessing it's the way things are right now.

Clearly the OERF is not planning to restrict operations to the tertiary sector. That's a good point, we should think about adding more examples for the other educational sectors --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC).

Here are some smallish points for your consideration.

  • Under cost leadership: "Similarly, the competitive advantage among education institutions does not necessarily lie in the learning content they prescribe, but rather in the quality of teaching, unique interactions provided through its community of scholars, and learner support services." Suggest adding "diversity of learning opportunities" to the list -- it seems to me that institutions choose how the opportunities are set up, offered to the learners -- from design your own course to choose a course from our list, from formal lectures to fully experiential learning, from face-to-face to distance learning....
Good point - will implement your suggestion -- thanks --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Under cost leadership: comparing this statement "Similarly, if institutions were to collaborate more effectively on the development of flexible learning materials using the OER model,..." and the label in the graph "OER-based flexible learning", I'm questioning in my own mind if "flexible learning materials" is the same as "flexible learning". I guess I'm understanding flexible learning materials to be like adaptable materials: instructors, teachers, curriculum coordinators can adapt to their needs. In contrast, my concept of flexible learning is demonstrated in the Flexible learning course on WE: "Flexible Learning is a type of curriculum design applied in formal education and training so as to offer people more choice, personalisation and control of their learning." I do see how the former leads to the latter. Well, just thought I'd share my initial interpretation.
Let me think about this --- splitting hairs, I think flexible learning materials are the "OER" / resources used in flexible learning delivery situations. I'll go back and take a look and see how to refine the statement. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Under product differentiation, not sure what is meant by "proof of concept" as an entry in the list without going to the link to see what's there. It seems to me that the capabilities on the publishing page are already included in the list. Wait, I think all that's needed is to delete the comma after proof of concept. It's "...proof of concept work..."
Yip -- good observation, while the capabilities are operational they still need further coding work and refinement --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC).
  • In collaboration and content interoperability, "Pending a successful community vote by the Wikimedia Foundation to enable projects to migrate from the GNU Free Documentation License to an equivalent Creative Commons license[33], will potentially generate OER remix opportunities for educational content previously not possible." I think this is not pending anymore.
Well spotted! -- cut-and-paste error, will fix this --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • In Objectives, #2, suggest expanding the usability bullet to suggest a broader range of innovation (more than supporting mass colloboration). I think it's also about creating templates and technologies to support learning design (e.g., inclusion of Java applets) and structures that make adapting content easier (e.g. transcluding small bits from a page).
Good point --- will elaborate with more examples. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

I went ahead and made some revisions to the page for seemingly obvious corrections. Here are some additional editorial comments, I'm happy to make these changes, just didn't want to presume and in some cases wasn't sure of your intent:

No worries -- Really appreciate this level of feedback and more than happy to implement the changes --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • avoid abbreviations other than OER -- spell out: ICTs in the first value statement, IMS in 3rd bullet of product differentiation section.
Yip --- will get this fixed --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Couldn't find a suitable solution for the IMS Global Learning Consortium abbreviation --- best to leave as is --Wayne Mackintosh 01:52, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
  • In cost leadership, indent set of 3 bullets located on the right of the graph.
might be a CSS bug with bullets next to images --- will see what I can do --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • In product differentiation, suggest creating a new sentence for the last bit of "...Europe 10%, Pacific/Oceania 17%) and only 51% of respondents indicating English as their first language."
Good suggestion -- thanks --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Inconsistent capitalization: internet vs. Internet, with enough of each that I'm not sure which you prefer.
Will fix for consistency -- thanks --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • In second bullet of product differentiation, suggest alternate punctuation for "...free content etc (See Figure 5)." --> "...free content, etc. (See Figure 5.)"
That's better --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • In product differentiation, move Figure 6 to be closer to it's listing in the text (bullet 6).
I agree will implement --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • In product differentiation, bullet 6, suggest revising punctuation "...and reuse (See Figure 6)." --> "...and reuse. (See Figure 6.)"
Consistent with above -- thanks --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • In challenges in achieving financial sustainability, 1st section, 3rd bullet, I think the left parenthesis is misplaced: "...magnitude, (Atkins, Brown and Hammond 2007:24)[30] suggest focusing..."
Will check this -- thanks --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • The external links are formatted differently in the collaboration and content interoperability section as compared with external links in other sections. Not sure if that's intentional.
No -- not intentional, was working to 2am on the concerned and got tiered -- now I have the time to fix this :-) Thanks --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • In Aims, bulleted list, revise for consistent punctuation
Yip -- will do --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • In Aims, bulleted list, change “of the range” to “using a range” in “Learning management system (LMS) vendors and developers of the range of delivery technologies who ensure...”
Will do -- thanks --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Looking at this again --- "of the range" is better -- LMS vendors and developers are not the traditional users of these technologies.
  • In the Aims, bulleted list, add the word “movement” after free culture in “...aims of the free culture, including...”
well spotted --Wayne Mackintosh 22
31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Hope this is helpful.

VERY helpful indeed -- BIG thanks --Wayne Mackintosh 22:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Regards, Alison

You're welcome. Glad to help.


Cheers -- thanks Alison,

Implemented all your suggestions apart from writing out the IMS abbreviation -- couldn't find a workable solution and one edit suggestions relating to changing “of the range” to “using a range”, which alters the intended meaning.

Thanks again :-)

About QFs (1)

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Dear Dr. Wayne and all other friends,

Qualification frameworks are very much essential to initiate a concerted effort for OER Development. It will provide clear direction for the OER development and ensure far and wide use of the OER developed. Therefore the OERF, in its strategy, may clearly mention,

  1. how it is going to collaborate with the National Qualification Framework authorities, so that they will promote the production of OER on WE based on approved NQFs.
  2. what is the vision of OERF with regards to TQF and how OERF is going to involve in the development of Transnational Qualification Framework by bringing together various initiatives like EQF, TQF for VUSSC etc. to a collaborative venue.

Warm regards
Anil Prasad 08:38, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi Anil,

Absolutely -- I agree qualification frameworks are a significant component of the future success of OER in the formal education system. While not explicitly stated in the first draft -- I personally see QFs as an integral component of our work. WikiEducator resources should be mapped to national curricula -- this will help educators find materials and identify existing gaps where we need to develop OER.

As we speak -- we're planning to work with the NZ national curriculum authorities in releasing the curriculum and qualification standards under an appropriate license for mapping WikiEducator OERs under the NZ reusable & portable project.

Thanks for highlighting this omission -- I'll be include relevant statements in the appropriate place in the draft strategy.


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