OERu/Planning/Marketing, recruitment, and communication working group/Inaugural meeting

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When: 6 May 2014, 12:00PM NZST (Click on link for local time.)
Where: Google hangout


  1. Welcome and aims of the meeting
  2. Review and determination of the aims and objectives of the working group
  3. The strategic chasm: Closing the gap between future value of the network and immediate tangible benefits for partners. -Wayne
  4. Review of OERu membership recruitment - Wayne
  5. OERu website news - Wayne
  6. Recruitment of additional members for the working group with relevant marketing and communication expertise
  7. Date of next meeting
  8. General

Resource links and proposed aims and objectives of the working group


Proposed aims of the working group

  1. To create, deliver and communicate the value of OERu study for prospective learners
  2. To support the effective recruitment of new OERu partners
  3. To improve OERu member relationship management guiding interactions of the OERu with its member institutions

Proposed objectives

  1. To recruit a small team of marketing professionals from OERu member institutions to support the activities of the marketing, recruitment, and communication working group.
  2. To review and improve existing marketing and recruitment materials.
  3. To identify strategies for future student recruitment

Minutes and decisions

Icon key points.gif
Key points
Key outputs of the meeting:
  1. Request letter from the Chair of the OERu Council of CEOs to ask partners to assist with recruiting additional partners
  2. Request the contacts of leading OERu partners to approach marketing departments to assist with review of existing marketing materials and to develop a brochure to assist with recruitment of new partners.
  3. Try to secure contribution in kind or limited budget resources to apply the OERu website brand (look and feel) to course materials incorporating capabilities for partners to re-brand content for their own local use.

  1. Attendance: David Bull (convener), and Wayne Mackintosh
  2. Reviewed draft aims and objectives of the working group
    • Approved the aims and objectives noting that they can be refined as the work of the group progresses.
    • Noted the necessity to expand the tier of OERu leadership and the succession risk associated with overreliance on the Director of the OER Foundation for coordinating OERu planning and operations. Resolved to defer this matter for the attention of the the Strategic Planning working group.
  3. Noted that very little progress has been made on the decision at the 2nd meeting of OERu partners for each partner to assist with recruiting one new partner for the network.
    • Resolved to request the Chair of the OERu council of CEOs to draft a letter to OERu partners to assist with this recruitment objective.
    • Noted that personal introductions are more effective than blind invitations from the OER Foundation.
    • Noted that recruitment rates increase around scheduled OERu meetings.
    • Affirmed that growing the OERu network is in the interests of our individual partner institutions by having a greater inventory of OERu courses for reuse with the ability to commission the paid development of new courses after achieving the target of 20 new members.
  4. Discussed the difficulties of marketing OERu to prospective learners in the absence of a critical mass of courses and/or pathways leading to a credentials.
    • Noted that OERu has not attempted any substantive marketing efforts other than posting on social networks for the prototype courses.
    • Noted that currently the OERu website has a feature for prospective learners to signup for updates for new and future courses published on the website. To date approximately 800 people have signed up for the newsletter updates which averages 32 individuals per listed course on the site.
    • Noted that during this transition phase, course development should focus in deriving tangible and immediate benefits for partner institutions. This can be achieved by encouraging parallel mode delivery where partners offer courses using OERu materials to full-fee students in parallel with free OERu learners. This creates an immediate advantage by providing registered students with an international open learning experience without incurring additional course design or development costs.
    • Resolved to include the "parallel mode concept" as a guideline for the upcoming audit of proposed course contributions.
  5. Discussed the news and announcements page on the OERu website and acknowledged that this is a good vehicle for members to profile OERu and open education activities. Resolved to remind partners of this avenue of communication.
  6. Acknowledged that current members of the working group do not have professional marketing and communication expertise.
    • Resolved to approach the OERu contacts of leading partners to approach their respective marketing departments for contributions to this working group.
    • Resolved to specify achievable projects to delimit scope and define anticipated time commitment from marketing professionals including 1) Review of existing marketing resources and suggestions for improvement 2) Development of DL Brochure for prospective OERu members.
  7. Discussed the need to apply the OERu brand (look and feel of the OERu website) to the content for the free OERu courses to provide a consistent experience for learners.
    • Noted that progress on this item is dependant on securing contributions in kind or limited budget resources to commission the team who developed the graphic design of the OERu website.
    • Noted that working closely with the Technology working group it would be possible to implement solutions to enable partner institutions to apply their own branding to OERu courses for local reuse.
  8. Resolved to schedule the next meeting after the May meeting of the OERu Management Committee.
  9. Meeting adjourned at 12.30 NZST

Action items

  1. Defer item relating to expanding the tier of OERu leadership and succession planning to the Strategic Planning Group.
  2. Transfer approved aims and objective to homepage Done --Mackiwg 03:38, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
  3. Wayne to approach Chair of the OERu Council of CEOs for letter to partners to assist with membership recruitment. (Update - discussed with Chair of OERu Council of CEOs, will prepare draft letter. --Mackiwg 01:59, 24 May 2014 (UTC))
  4. Incorporate parallel mode delivery into the guidelines for the audit of course contributions. - Done --Mackiwg 01:58, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
  5. Post reminder on OERu list inviting contributions from partner institutions for the news section of the OERu website. (Update - Unisa news on approval of OER Strategy posted on OERu site.)
  6. Wayne and Dave to approach OERu contacts of leading partners to approach marketing departments for contributions in kind to review marketing materials and to develop brochure for prospective partners.
  7. Wayne to approach Otago Polytechnic and other partners to secure limited funding to progress the branding of OERu content. Jim Tittsler has prepared a request for quotation. Was discussed at Technology working group meeting and added to agenda of OERuMC meeting. --Mackiwg 01:57, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
  8. Schedule next meeting (after OERuMC meeting.)