Strategic goals and objectives

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Navigating OERu futures


This page looks to answer the question: Where we are going?

Our response to this question has been informed through a series of open meetings, discussions and decisions by the partner network to establish working groups for progressing priorities.

Please read through the strategic priorities we have identified and join the consultation by posting your views on the corresponding discussion page in the wiki.

Arriving at our proposed strategic goals

We're not starting from scratch. Our proposed strategic goals were derived from the discussions and the proposals for action during the 2013 series of OERu meetings:

  1. 2nd Meeting of OERu partners
  2. Transnational qualifications and course articulation meeting
  3. Inaugural meeting of the OERu Council of Chief Executive Officers

We have a vision

The overarching aim of the OERu network is to be recognised as a credible and innovative provider of quality education using open educational resources. Quality assurance and institutional accreditation through accredited partners are the cornerstones of the OERu innovation partnership.

Vision of the OERu

We envision a world where all learners have affordable access to higher education.

Mission of the OERu network

Members of the OERu network demonstrate their public service missions through the provision of alternate pathways to credible credentials using open education approaches.

Strategic goals and objectives

The first draft of the OERu strategic plan was derived from the the outputs of the OERu partner meetings and serves as the basis for wider consultation, reflection and refinement of our thinking. The strategic goals and corresponding objectives which have emerged from this process are summarised in the table below:

Strategic goals and corresponding objectives Group responsibility Summary
Goal 1
Achieve a fiscally sustainable and scalable OERu network
  1. Recruit minimum number of partners for fiscally sustainable OERu network
  2. Build OERu partner community source model for technology innovation and infrastructure support
  3. Diversify funding sources for OERu strategic projects

The OERu network is fiscally sustainable and scalable when:

  1. The membership fees from contributing partners covers the central infrastructure costs for hosting free content and related technology support services without reliance on 3rd party donor funding
  2. OERu partners recoup recurrent cost for assessment-only services, generate new revenue for value added services and can deploy OERu courses for local delivery at near-zero cost
  3. The network diversifies revenue sources to support strategic projects for the benefit of its partners.

Risk: Without a revenue stream to cover centrally hosted services the OERu cannot operate

Goal 2
Improve processes for efficient OERu operations that underpin academic quality at scale
  1. Publish operational guidelines for OERu quality assurance, credit transfer and course articulation
  2. Develop resources to support partners for effective engagement in the OERu network
  3. Improve communications and build roles for distributed leadership directing the modus operandi of the OERu
  4. Extend CIPP monitoring and evaluation of the OERu initiative
The OERu network requires:
  • Approved guidelines and processes to ensure quality of its courses and to maximise credit transfer and course articulation in the network
  • Resources to support course development and OER capacity building of its partner staff
  • Regular meetings to support the development of the OERu strategic plan and operational priorities for 2014
  • Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the OERu initiative.

Risk: OERu partners do not have experience or skills in open design models for the OERu delivery model or standardised processes for credit transfer and course articulation resulting in unnecessary increases in costs for design and delivery of OERu courses.

Goal 3
Develop a coherent OERu programme of study with defined learning pathways and exit credentials
  1. Develop product for the OERu (full courses and micro courses)
  2. Develop procedures for streamlining nomination of OERu courses
  3. Develop guidelines, procedures and strategies for building the OERu programme of study

The OERu network achieves a programme of study when there are sufficient OERu courses for:

  • OERu learners to complete a Bachelor of General studies (or equivalent) at a number of OERu partner institutions
  • Providing alternate pathways (streams) of study
  • OERu learners can transfer or apply credit from OERu courses for alternate qualifications at the majority of OERu partners

Risk: Without sufficient product to complete a programme of study, OERu will not be attractive to learners (or future partners)

Goal 4
Foster innovation through pilot projects which demonstrate the viability and strategic opportunities for the OERu network
  1. OER portfolio development course on how to develop an RPL portfolio
  2. micro OERu courses reused for full-tuition students delivered using the local LMS in parallel with free OERu learners using WikiEducator at two or more OERu partners]]
Demonstrators are projects which are implemented by one or more OERu partners which are designed to prove the viability of new approaches and technologies that improve effectiveness or function as a proof of concept for new business services enabled by the disaggregation of services in the OERu model.

Risk: OERu does not leverage incremental design to keep abreast with a volatile and rapidly changing higher education market.

Consultation questions on the strategic goals

Consider the questions below and let us know what you think by posting your thoughts on the discussion page in the wiki.

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  • You must be logged in to WikiEducator before you can post comments using the discussion link below
  • This discussion is restricted to the high level strategic goals. Use the links in the table above for feedback on specific objectives.

  1. Are we missing any important strategic goals for the 2014 - 2017 plan? If so please let us know.
  2. What are the substantive risks which would prevent the OERu from achieving its goals?
  3. Do you have any thoughts on the priority ranking of the stated goals?
  4. Are there any strategic objectives missing from the list which would contribute to the attainment of our strategic goals?
  5. Any general comments, ideas or thoughts to help OERu achieve success?
  6. How can the OERu strategy narrow the gap between the value the network provides and the value extracted by individual partners?
  7. Additional consultation questions?

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Join the discussion
Visit the talk page or login to WikEducator and post a new thread on Strategic goals

Summary of recommendations from talk page

  1. An overarching goal, perhaps best made explicit, is for the OERu to be perceived as a recognised, credible, and innovative provider of quality education. (Mark Nichols) - Recommendation: Incorporate in the vision / mission section of the integrated set of strategic planning documents.

Comments on Goal 1

  1. Incorporate ways for students to engage in the planning and implementation process, perhaps as a component of Academic Volunteers International. Is this part of the community source objective, or do we need a separate AVI related objective - (Maria Droujkova - SCoPE Seminar)

Comments on Goal 2

  1. Replace "cost effective" with efficient to read: "Improve processes for efficient and scalable OERu operations." (Marc Singer).
  2. Suggested rewording to emphasise quality: "Develop processes for OERu operations that underpin academic quality at scale" (Mark Nichols).
  3. Suggestion to promote regional and national OERu collaboration focusing on local accreditation issues as a strategic goal. (Rassie Louw). - Recommendation: Include a strategic objective under Goal 2 along the lines of: Promote and support the establishment of national and regional hubs to: facilitate planning for national accreditation and articulation taking regulatory barriers into account; to facilitate national solutions for cross-border learner mobility in the OERu network; and to promote national OERu cooperation. Consider introducing a separate goal for OERu national collaboration. --Mackiwg 00:44, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Comments on Goal 4

  1. Suggested rewording: "Develop pilots/models to demonstrate viability and strength of OERu network" (Marc Singer)

Missing strategic objectives

  1. The need to develop and implement a communication strategy to make sure that the philosophy of OER and OERu is fully understood by various transworld audiences and stakeholders (Jo Smedley). Suggestion - Incorporate this strategic objective under Goal 2.
  2. See point from Rassie Louw about developing regional or national OERu collaborations.

General feedback

  1. Identity verification is a priority issue for the OERu. (Marc Singer, Brian Mulligan, Mika Hoffman). Already included on the agenda of the Credit transfer and course articulation.
  2. Improve communication and support for OERu partners to engage. (Mika Hoffman, Marc Singer)
  3. Critical path priorities:
    • Develop and offer a sufficient number of courses to constitute a coherent OERu programme of study (Jim Taylor)
    • Progressing marketing,recruitment and communication (Jim Taylor)
  4. Marketing and recruitment of learners needs higher prominence in the strategic plan (Lenora LeMay) - Suggestion: Add marketing and recruitment as strategic objective under Goal 1.


  1. OERu not perceived as a recognised, credible, and innovative provider of quality education. (Mark Nichols).
  2. "Bachelor of General Studies" may not be attractive to many particularly in developing countries (Brian Mulligan)

Summary of recommendations from SCoPE 14.08 seminar

Session 1: OERu planning context

  1. Add something student-centred to the priorities - Eg if an educator sends students to the project, what could they do to help realise the OERu vision. Submitted by Maria Droujkova
    • Note to strategic planning working group: Consider how this might related to the community source objective of Strategic Goal 1 - --Mackiwg 22:27, 4 August 2014 (UTC)