Project OERu recruit 20-13

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Summary of activity outputs

Initial project concept

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Project OERu recruit 20-13 aims to leverage the network potential of our OERu anchor partners to:
  • recruit 20 new OERu anchor partners,
  • before the official international launch of the OERu on 8 November 2013.


The OER Tertiary Education network has a unique opportunity to achieve a fiscally sustainable and scalable model before the official international launch of the OERu without reliance on 3rd party donor funding. The OERu Recruit 20-13 project aims to achieve this objective.

The OER Foundation was established by the Council of Otago Polytechnic as an independant non-profit company registeredPDF down.png on the 28th day of April 2009 under the New Zealand Companies Act of 1993. The activities of the Foundation are restricted to charitable education activities. The Foundation's strategic vision is to foster and achieve the development of sustainable OER ecosystems so that educators and learners around the world will have access to open content which we can reuse, revise, remix and redistribute in support of all national education curricula.

On 23 February 2011, the OER Foundation, BCcampus, Otago Polytechnic and the University of Southern Queensland joined forces as the first four founding anchor partners at an open meeting with support and advice from the UNESCO-COL Chair in OER at Athabasca University to introduce the concept of an OER university with a corresponding logic model to assist with planning this ground breaking project (see UNESCO Press Release, 8 February 2011).

The OER Foundation introduced the membership category of "founding anchor partner" for institutions who joined the OER Tertiary Education Network (the driving force behind the OERu), before the 2011.11 meeting. At this date the OERu had achieved 15 founding anchor partners (inclusive of two non-teaching institutions). The OER Foundation's Board of Directors approved the membership category of anchor partner for institution's who join the network prior to the international launch of the OERu scheduled for 7 November 2013. On the anniversary date of the meeting of founding anchor partners, membership had increased by 8 new institutions representing a growth of 47% for 2012.

Since the inception of the OER Foundation in 2009, we have been fortunate to receive funding support from the Commonwealth of Learning and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. UNESCO has provided sponsorship support for the live streaming of our international meetings on the Internet. The deficits to date have been carried by Otago Polytechnic.

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Key points
  • The OERu is the first international network of accredited institutions who are collaborating to provide formal credentialing services towards credible degrees using courses based solely on OER.
  • The OERu network will be able to accredit OER learning on 5 continents.
  • Institutions who join the OERu network before the international launch on 7 November 2013 will be recorded in history as anchor partners of this global innovation partnership.
  • By recruiting an additional 20 anchor partners before the launch in November 2013, the OERu network will achieve a fiscally sustainable and scalable OER collaboration without reliance on 3rd party donor funding.
  • As a registered non-profit, surplus funds of the OER Foundation must be invested in charitable activities. Achieving the breakeven threshold means that the Foundation could start commissioning the development of OERu courses for the benefit of our network. For example, members who have completed their two course contribution could have voting rights on deciding which courses are considered for commissioned development for the network.

Brainstorming ideas for OERu recruit 20-13

  • Based on the OER Foundation's experience with membership recruitment, personal referrals, relationships and networks have been more successful than blind invitations. Our existing network of partners could assist with identifying potential recruitments expanding reach beyond what a small staff compliment of only two full-time staff can achieve. --Mackiwg 04:40, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Post a "challenge" for our senior leaders at existing anchor partners for each anchor partner to identify and recruit one new member for the network. This would extend our "marketing" reach with incurring cost. If each partner could successfully identify one new partner within the next 11 months, we will achieve our sustainability targets, and arguably become the first sustainable international OER initiative without reliance on 3rd party donor funding. --Mackiwg 04:42, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Would it be appropriate to initiate a "pledge model" where existing OERu family members could "pledge" to successfully recruit one or two new members? --Mackiwg 02:00, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

What is needed for success

List ideas for achieving success

  • List here
  • List here

Open questions

List any open questions here:

  • Why do institutions join the OERu network?
    • Our context evaluation survey (see slide 17) indicates the top 3 reasons for institutions joining the OERu network: 1) To be part of an international network 2) Philanthropic aim to widen access to education 3) To retain competitive advantage as OER collaborations become more mainstream. --Mackiwg 03:26, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
  • List question

List of resources we currently have to support recruitment efforts