User:KTucker/Comments on OER Foundation Strategy

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

Re: OER Foundation Strategy.

A work in progress ...

Hi all,

Small changes in the initial conditions can give completely different long-term results. With this in mind, here are some thoughts on the strategy so far. NB These sprung to mind on first reading. Some thoughts were dealt with as I read on and realised the approach did not match my assumptions. I chose not to edit directly to avoid spoiling the document which is pretty good (my preconceptions of the strategy might not match).

Hi Kim -- First a BIG thank you for your initial reflections. Solid as always :-). I grappled with deciding on the best approach to structure the strategic plan and settled with the most generic approach of looking at where we want to be, summarising the current situation and figuring out a path to get there. That said -- most of your comments are extremely valuable and will think carefully about how best to integrate these in a document which is intended for a very wide audience. --Wayne Mackintosh 00:55, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

First, be certain this is an "OER Foundation" strategy and does not become a "WikiEducator strategy" (otherwise rename to the "WikiEducator Foundation"). Taking this further: "Open Education Foundation" might be closer to the real objectives (e.g. EFA as opposed to the OER), and ... (never mind, I was going to say something cheeky about Libre Learning or Libre Resources which is what the strategy seems to be referring to. ;-).

Absolutely -- the OER Foundation is distinct from the WikiEducator strategy in the sense that a strategic plan should think about uncertain futures. For example, there was life before wiki's and their will be life after wikis as technology evolves and matures. Fair comment about EFA -- but one could argues that EFA could be achieved with closed content resources --- the point is our focus is achieving these objectives using Libre Resources :-). I'm less concerned with actual labels, eg OER versus Libre Resources. For me, what's more important are the values and meaning the OER Foundation associates with OER (eg essential freedoms etc.) --Wayne Mackintosh 01:08, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Vision and Mission

I find these a bit mixed up. Consider:

Depends on what model we decide on using to structure the strategic plan ;-) --- but agree that your approach and distinction communicates more clearly --Wayne Mackintosh 01:20, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Purpose (of the OER Foundation) To foster and support the development of sustainable ecosystems for OER.
  • removed "economically" to be more holistic
Vision Sustainable OER Ecosystems around national curricula
  • simplify into something more "visionary" and less goal-directed
Goal By 2015, learners and educators in 20 or more countries may use and co-develop OER covering their entire national curricula for primary, secondary and tertiary education.
  • Added "Goal" incorporating a variation of previous "Vision".
  • Reworded to answer "Who will experience what by when?".
  • Removed "in collaboration with the free culture movement" as I think that is not a formal or exclusive collaboration (e.g. civil society, ...)
  • changed "in support of ..." as it does not indicate the scope (e.g. would just a few images for a small part of the curriculum be success, or do we mean complete coverage?),
  • removed reference to "post-secondary" as it might be too open-ended and at the same time restrictive covering/implying technical and vocational training, apprenticeships, ... (perhaps say "Informal and Other").
This is useful -- I need to think carefully about this. I'm concerned about conflating monitoring and evaluation type statements into the table. However, clearly refinements and clarity are needed. --Wayne Mackintosh 01:01, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


The comments in this section relate to the row labelled "Strategy" in the table. Included are suggestions to add additional rows ("Strategic Intent", "General Approach" and "Tactics").

Very good suggestion to include general approach, tactics etc. This is clearly missing in the original draft. Thanks for that. --Wayne Mackintosh 01:17, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Although the "Strategy" row indicates "Strategic Intent", what is written now looks like a list of mission objectives. I would expect to see something like the following (adapt):

  • To stimulate, facilitate and catalyse participation in OER use, development and sharing (modus operandum).
  • To inspire and guide decision makers, champions and user-producers of OER (multi-tier - top-down and bottom-up).
  • To continually embrace new technologies and promote creative uses of existing technologies to enable OER access and learning innovation in diverse contexts (technical innovation for learning).
  • To build on the work of existing learning communities and grow new ones through OER.
  • To promote and conduct our own activities with transparency, inclusivity, participation and collaboration (lead by example).

Or, re-label the row to "Strategic Intent" (and include it before "Strategy").

Having read on, perhaps build this "Strategy" summary around how WE differentiates itself:

  • Focus on the formal education sector
  • Nurturing self-organising OER communities
  • Promoting free cultural works approved content licensing
  • Refining technology and approaches for a mass peer collaboration model
  • Differentiation through collaboration (open philanthropy)
  • Holistic strategy.

and make it clear how these relate to the "Strategic initiatives summary" later.

Agree with all these bullets --- need to think how best to incorporate this into the document. This bit of the document is an executive summary --- but we need to fill in more detail in the body of the document. --Wayne Mackintosh 01:05, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

General Approach

The following also came to mind and I jotted it down before reading on when I found that much of this covered in aslightly different way later on. Anyway, maybe there is something useful that may be incorporated.

Successively effecting OER adoption is complex requiring consideration of technical, cultural, pedagogical and organisational factors in the existing system. Support needs to be grown through conversation on many levels including formal interaction through existing channels and organic community development. Our general approach is summarised as follows:

  • Multi-tier - top-down and bottom-up
  • Raise awareness of the OER movement and potential benefits
    • develop and share resources for this purpose (brochures, wiki pages, policy templates, ...)
  • Foster desire to become a part of the OER community
  • Identify and support champions
  • Develop/enhance understanding of the implications and pragmatics
  • Support capacity building for managing OER initiatives, adapting OER and local OER development
  • Support participation via the relevant OER communities
  • ...


Tactics vary according to the level of education being addressed, the availability of exisitng resources for free/libre use and the context of the user-producers. Under General, below, are some ideas for resources which may be customised for each level. (Condense the sub-sections of Tactics to bullet points).


Develop resources for Policy/Decision Makers, Champions and Participants:

Raising Awareness

  • Statistics on OER adoption world-wide.
  • Documents describing the state of OER such as this one.
  • Case Studies including their rationale and successes.

Implementation Resources

  • Template OA/OER policy documents for tertiary institutions, government education departments/ministries, schools, ....
  • Customisation guidelines and resources
  • Sample customised documents
  • OER HowTos (such as the OER Handbook, OCW Toolkit, etc.
  • ...



  • Institutions
  • Subject-level champions
  • Students



  • Government education departments
  • Teacher networks
  • Learners

Ok, enough on the table.

Yip -- clearly we need to expand on the approach and tactics section --- The document is very thin on the how at this stage of the process. --Wayne Mackintosh 01:07, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


Situation analysis

Re: the italicised text:

First bullet: I find this difficult. Perhaps some things are just not that obvious to me.
What are the "tangible benefits"?
Point taken -- need to spell this out, i.e. reducing cost, improving quality and widening access to education through OER. --Wayne Mackintosh 01:14, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
How would they be measured and correctly attributed to OER?
By implementing a robust Monitoring and Evaluation plan --- WE have and early draft of an Draft M&E plan -- however, I'm not sure that this is needed for a high level strategic plan document? --Wayne Mackintosh 01:19, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
attaining financial sustainability of the movement at a macro-systems and organisational level;
First, I prefer not to use adjectives (like "financial") before the word "sustainability" (e.g. other dimensions of sustainability cannot be ignored and may disrupt a sound "financial" model - e.g. socio-political).
I grappled a long time whether or not to included the adjective ;-) --- I decided to include it as a means of suggesting that economic sustainability as a priority. Reading your reflection again --- I'm erring on taking it out again.
Second, is the "education system" (irrespective of OER) sustainable? The system will continue, but the question (IMHO) is more about scalability.
I don't think you can separate sustainability from scalability --- we become more sustainable when we scale more effectively. Somehow I think sustainability is the driving force. I should however make reference to scalability in the document. --Wayne Mackintosh 01:32, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
collaboration and content interoperability among mainstream OER initiatives;
Does this mean "technical collaboration on content interoperability"? Perhaps initiate a strategic project around this (in addition to usability if applicable). Collaboration on content across these mainstream initiatives might not be productive. More on this below under Strategic Gaps.
Nope it means both -- collaboration among mainstream OER initiatives and technical collaboration on content interoperability --Wayne Mackintosh 01:37, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

OER environmental scan

First paragraph: big jump from "Internet ... educational materials" to "these free materials". Perhaps change the second sentence to:

"Not all materials may be used so freely. Those which may are called Open Educational Resources and can include ...". Caveat: not all OER are free/libre.

Yeah -- as you know WikiEducator and the OER Foundation subscribe to the Free Cultural Works definition --- so all our OER are libre. I'll include a footnote to this effect. --Wayne Mackintosh 01:44, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Is Connexions still hosted by Rice University? I thought they spun off?

To the best of my knowledge the project is still hosted at Rice University -- they're in the process of establishing a Connexions consortium. --Wayne Mackintosh 01:44, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Relative strengths and opportunities

My next paragraph supports your interpretation in the succeeding sections which separately deal with "cost leadership" and "product differentiation".

The terms "cost leadership" and "product differentiation" may detract from this strategy. The wealth is in the network and the knowldge shared about educational practices using OER. The resources themselves are important but secondary to this. Alternative terms might be "value leadership" and "service differentiation" - though the term "OER" does suggest "product" and immense effort has been expended by the OER community to produce collections such as OCW at great cost (estimates for the original OCW at MIT were around $20k/course). Perhaps this is a step towards "libre learning" and I should be satisfied. The risk is that learners and educators of the world will runaway with other resources independent of wikis and the OER Foundation and its membership. The strategy should embrace this scenario, turning the risk into an opportunity - the very type of scenario(s) to be hatched via the OER community.

mmmm this may be a challenge to get right -- Porters work is a well known framework in strategic planning circles. The point of this analysis is to see where the OER Foundation can add the most value -- and that's in fostering the development of sustainable OER ecosystems through collaborative approaches in the broadest sense. I don't see learners and educators of the world running away with other resources as a risk -- its a measure of success -- as long as those resources are libre :-) --Wayne Mackintosh 01:56, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Try control-F (search for) "open content" and consider replacing with "free content" (or "libre resources").

Point taken and this will be covered by the footnote about libre and free cultural works licensed content. However-- taking the readership into account here and open content has a wider meaning than free content aka the research and philosophy underpinning open learning as in open distance learning. --Wayne Mackintosh 01:56, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

e.g.+: In the last sentence of the first paragraph replace "extend future success of open content ..." with "enhance the impact of free content ...".

Good refinement -- thanks --Wayne Mackintosh 01:56, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

The last sentence concerns me: "Consequently, the OER Foundation strategy must consider how these strategic approaches and factors of competitive advantage can be reconfigured for the non-profit educational sector using OER."

First, the role of the OER Foundation should (IMHO) include stimulating competition on level playing fields (much like an IT standards organisation - enhancing the whole IT industry). First shift towards services rather than products. The competition is around the services. The competitive advantage is gained by effectively sharing, localising, applying and being at the leading edge of best practices.
Second, "for the non-profit educational sector" - replace with "for the education sector". Restricting it to non-profit might lead people to believe that NC is needed and discourage synergies with professional service providers (e.g. commercial trainers using, improving and sharing OER).
Cost Leadership

A good in tune with comments above. Consider re-labelling "Value Leadership" and state (above) "after Porter 1985".

mmmm could be confusing. Do you mean value as in educational values or libre values, or value as in cost? The problem is that in the strategic planning world the focus here is on the cost/quality differential. Perhaps the concept is Efficiency leadership? --Wayne Mackintosh 01:59, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I meant value as in positive impact or positive change - "impact leadership" / "change leadership"? This change requires more thought. Any ideas anyone? KTucker 21:57, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Product Differentiation

Just wondering:

  • Could the stats be interpreted to say the younger generation (18-34) are not bothered with antiquated approaches and monumental sites explicitly for education such as WE, preferring to share knowledge and learn via more exciting channels such as Google, Facebook, SecondLife, Youtube and the blogosphere?
Yes -- it could mean that. However, our focus is on a community of educators working in the formal sector. Not a value judgement for or against other technologies or audiences -- just that educators are our prime focus.
  • How many educators are there out there who use these alternate channels and not WE?
I'm sure there are many --- that said our strategic objective is to facilitate collaboration as a differentiator --Wayne Mackintosh 02:04, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
presumably not restricted to collaboration on WE - e.g. learning activities might include use of and contributing to OER on other platforms, etc. KTucker 22:01, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely ---- It doesn't matter where OER are physically hosted and we are committed to fostering and promoting collaboration among a variety of platforms. Hence our bid to build a technical bridge between Connexions and MW, our interest and work in promoting interoperability and thinking about offline editing solutions etc. --Wayne Mackintosh 23:38, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Can we quantify the size of the educational communities (many consisting of learners and educators from different institutions) driven from the bottom-up on Google-groups, Facebook, Ning, etc.?
Not sure how we would quantify that and not sure whether its relevant. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:04, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Relevant (possibly) to understand the significance of WE (flagship project) vs the rest in cyberspace, and get a handle on educational collaboration occurring spontaneously independently of the OER Foundation.
How to quantify: surveys? ... perhaps defer to research and M&E. KTucker 23:46, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
  • How much of the WE demographics is due to pro-active community building activities of the champions? How can this effect be amplified?
Good point -- I'm sure that much of our growth is the result of pro-active community building and we need to get better at doing this :-) --Wayne Mackintosh 02:04, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Self-organising OER community

What does research tell us about fostering self-organising communities whose efforts lead to a significant and useful resource?

e.g. Wikipedia is one of the most impressive examples of peer production. It dwarfs the success of Wikiversity and Wikibooks. One of the reasons for its success is the modular nature and fairly uniform format of each article whose subject attracts a community of enthusiasts who may contribute with a low risk of losing coherence in an article. WikiEducator (and Wikiversity) are for those who want more than an encyclopedia article. Would it make sense to have a link from all Wikipedia articles to a similarly modular article on WikiEducator (and/or Wikiversity) e.g. via {{WE}} and {{WV}}tags? These target pages could in turn be well structured portals to learning resources on (or related to) that topic with a fairly uniform format (e.g. introduction, links to material by educational level, debates, references, community resources, ...). The need for managing continuity at this level would be minimised without compromising freedom to produce all types of resources at lower levels?
Does the OER Foundation have a research strategy? (Recall this discussion, and consider whether a research activity should be included to improve our approach and measure impact)
Good point -- in a slighter later version of the strategy we have now incorporated a research objective. Feedback from Rory at Athabasca pointed this out. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:59, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Refining technology and approaches for a mass peer collaboration model

Good :-) - This section along with Differentiation through collaboration and Holistic strategy address some of my earlier concerns (above).

Strategic Gaps

Not sure about the "two significant barriers impeding OER adoption and implementation within the formal education sector":

  1. the absence of a financially sustainable ecosystem leading to a global participatory learning infrastructure
    • First, as above, omit "financially" to ensure the other dimensions of sustainability are not ignored (e.g. social/cultural/political)
    • Second, the (global connected sustainable education) ecosystem is there (primarily government funded in the formal education sector). The way it is functioning as a whole needs attention if we are collectively to achieve our goals and aspirations (EFA, MDGs, ...). There are barriers such as DRM, lack of awareness of Creative Commons licensing and the benefits and opportunities presented by OER, etc. - but lack of a sustainable ecosystem is not the issue. The real issue is scalability (reaching the billions). OER and the second barrier(s) (below) speak to this.
The strategic gap here is financial sustainability of OER --- there is currently no free content project in the formal sector which is financially independent from donor funding. Consequently financial sustainability is a strategic priority for the OER foundation -- If we don't find ways to support ourselves financially in the next 1 to 2 years -- The OER Foundation, WE etc will cease to exist. So is a pretty significant gap we're hoping to address.
  1. paradoxically, a lack of collaboration and content interoperability among mainstream OER initiatives
    • This barrier is "overloaded" (covers too many aspects) covering technical and content development collaboration, license compatibility, technical interoperability (via standards such as IMS, SCORM, ... and perhaps federated search), and possibly collaboration on other levels (e.g. strategic). Although the OER Foundation should advise on all aspects, for the strategy, I suggest:
      • simplify and reduce this strategic gap/barrier to something like "lack of an effective mechanism to find and compose relevant quality OER from the global pool". Rationale:
        • I suspect that non-mainstream (and not specifically educational) initiatives will become increasingly important.
        • For example, departments may install their own instances of MediaWiki, Elgg, Moodle, Rhaptos, etc., use them in idiosyncratic ways and also encourage their educators and learners to use external facilities/resources - wikis (e.g. WE, WV), blogs, twitter, digg, delicious, secondlife, Facebook, cnx, Ning, *Groups, ....
        • By doing this, collaboration on content development will emerge as will a global participatory learning infrastructure (as the benefits of peer production become obvious).
        • The technical (interoperability) challenge remains, but how integrated do these things really need to be, if the learning process is copy, modify, mix, share, ...?
          • The various platforms all have their special benefits which lead to their selection in any situation.
        • The challenge is to make it easy to find, access and extract required components to modify during OER composition.
    • Possible approach:
      • Establish standards to enable a plethora of (potentially competing) meta-data services to tag/describe resources on the Internet. These may be decoupled from the various platforms which may expose resources by publishing/registering their meta data.
      • Starting with the mainstream OER initiatives at this time is a good idea. However, the approach may also be implemented in the smallest, simplest OER platforms (including DeskTop wikis and PLEs) or applied to repositories with no such built-in functionality (e.g. via tagging agents, social tagging, semantic annotation, etc.).
    • Result: intelligent decoupled find-select-incorporate services for OER.
      • e.g. "Find OER related to plant cellular biology for lower secondary students" results in a list prioritised by user/usage ratings/rankings each with links to view and optionally import/download components (e.g. as an IMS content package, etc.).

i.e. reduce the focus to one strategic gap ("lack of an effective mechanism to find and compose relevant quality OER from the global pool") that will service the others.

Keeping it simple is always a good strategy :-) --- so will definitely look at simplifying the gap statement. That said, there is a inherent risk in simplifying complex realities --- and the OER foundation is acutely aware of the complexity --- and through our approaches we hope that we can scale as a virtual organisation to resolve some of this complexity. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:27, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Having said that, let's not throw out the baby with the bath water, and think about how best to retain the existing text in the strategy. In essence, the above (on Strategic Gaps) has extracted the community building (collaboration around content) aspect. Fostering collaboration and community building is an important strategic activity for the OER Foundation. The sub-sections under Strategic Gaps provide rationale and focus. Consider adapting and moving these two sections closer to "Key Activities" (and include some which pro-actively foster collaboration).

Will take a look at changing the structure of the plan -- within the constraints of the strategic model that was used to articulate the plan. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:27, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Remember to omit the adjective "financial" before "sustainability" (throughout).

Yip -- where its appropriate. However, financial sustainability is a strategic gap of the OER movement -- one which is a very high priority for the OER Foundation. Its a question of survival for us :-) That said -- we're very optimistic that we'll get this right, otherwise we would not have founded the organisation :-) --Wayne Mackintosh 02:27, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
wrt sustainability, "financial" (or "economic") is always implicit, along with "social" and "environmental". Would "financially viable" work?
This leads me to another question: will there come a time when the work of the OER Foundation is done? i.e. when existing OER ecosystems are thriving (and growing in number and through complete life cycles) in a climate made conducive for growth by the OER Foundation (originally).
Perhaps "where its appropriate" could be: use "financially viable" when referring to the OER Foundation and specific OER initiatives, and "sustainable" when referring to OER planet's (diverse) ecosystem(s) that the Foundation seeds and grows.
i.e. it might be useful to distinguish more clearly sustainability (or viability) of the OER Foundation and sustainability of the OER ecosystems it seeks to proliferate. (food for thought :-)
KTucker 00:42, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Theory of Change

Great diagram. Good to see allusions to asset-based approaches.

The figure reminds me of several approaches to strategy/programme/project development and I have seen many variations (adapted in a variety of contexts) including the Logical Framework Approach, Appreciative Inquiry (AI), Theory of Constraints (ToC) and Outcome Mapping". One of the ways practitioners of the latter define outcomes is in terms of behavioural changes in the people they are trying to reach.

Any ideas for the OER Foundation? How would we measure those behavioural changes?

The Results Based Management framework to which you refer is used widely by non-profits and international agencies. By the same token, its not a familiar approach in the formal education sector -- so need to take our primary audience into account as well. We'll get this dimension covered in our M&E strategy. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:57, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Outcome Mapping downplays "impact" as it is difficult to assess. For the OER Foundation, however, I think it is worth mentioning (particularly wrt "developing" countries) - perhaps in the form of a matrix of inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impact.

The other approaches mentioned suggest some additional components of this strategy (please add):

  • ToC: a map of intermediate objectives showing dependencies and expanding into the activities (to be defined).
  • AI: a management and organisational development approach/philosophy (how we want to be together on this journey and grow the energy in the OER communities we inspire).

Aim (Big goal)

First paragraph:

  • Refer to multiple (diverse) ecosystems (on planet OER).
  • Mention enhancing the institutions' ability to meet the ever-encreasing demands for education ... and possibly the impact that will have on poverty reduction and sustainable development.
Fair comment -- will get this fixed --Wayne Mackintosh 02:53, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Second paragraph:

  • How formal is the collaboration with the Free Culture movement? - in tandem with or focusing on the educational aspect of the free culture movement ... ? Or, is it in collaboration with prominent players in the education sector or educators and learners worldwide, etc.?
Perhaps this needs to be a footnote --- the issue here is that we're not doing this in competition with other initiatives of the free culture movement -- we're working in collaboration. Also in an open system -- its hard to predict who our future partners will be. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:52, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
  • "we aim to create and remix free digital content resources" - not directly ourselves - prefer "facilitate and catalyse the creation of ...".
  • "in support of" - vague (will just a few be enough? Or "covering entire national primary and secondary curricula in at least 20 countries" .... For post-secondary and tertiary education it might be more realistic to aim to have institutional OER policies accepted in at least x universities and y case studies described and indexed ....
I think this level of detail should be covered in the M&E plan -- not necessarily the high level strategic plan. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:52, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Third paragraph:

  • I am a bit skeptical about one global ecosystem (implied). For many OER ecosystems it will not be necessary to enumerate all the dependencies. For example, a community (and ecosystem) might spring up spontaneously on Facebook and collectively produce a great collection of videos on YouTube and other resources on some specific topic. The participants might come from many institutions around the world all facing different challenges affecting their own sustainability. Furthermore, not all ecosystems will be indefinitely sustainable but follow a natural life cycle. Reword to reflect this perspective.

Financial sustainability model of the OER foundation

Be more holistic than "Financial" to ensure other essential aspects of sustainability are considered (e.g. social/political/... ) which can completely disrupt an OER initiative with a sound financial model.

The overall strategy is holistic but the current gap priority we will focus on is financial sustainability. The trouble is if we don't zoom in on this priority ---we wont be around to help achieve the other aspects of sustainability. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:49, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

More comments coming soon ...


First impression: these do not look like "Objectives" - mostly more like "Mission". How will we know when they have been achieved? Nevertheless, I have gone ahead and produced a variation which I hope will be of use for whoever (pl.) prepare the next version.
Suggestions for this section:
  • Separate the broader objectives from the WE-specific objectives which could be moved into an "Enhance our Flagship project" sub-section
  • Go beyond "this phase" (first sentence) and show what sorts of objectives will be addressed in later stages (short, medium and long term) (otherwise it might look incomplete).
  • Suggested changes in wording are also indicated (e.g. shifting the emphasis to serving the objectives of educators and learners).
  • Include an introductory paragraph, something like:

The objectives will be achieved through collaboration and community-led innovation. Where applicable, technical innovations will be piloted in WikiEducator, our flagship project.

Key objectives for this phase of our strategy include:

  1. Support education institutions in realising the benefits of OER such as:
    • improved efficiency and cost reduction of education
    • quality improvement of learning resources
    • improved effectiveness of educational practices with OER
    • widening access to education for potential learners not currently served.
  2. Foster innovation (towards meeting objective 1)
    • Efficiency (of collaborative OER development) and Quality Improvement
      • Enhance WikiEducator's usability
        • simpler text editing (e.g. rich text, WYSIWYG, ...)
        • easy insertion of pedagogical templates
      • Enable peer production (defined previously) by implementing
        • peer review and work flow facilities designed specifically for education institutions
        • threaded discussions (Liquid Threads maturation)
        • tools for adapting resources (e.g. extracting selected subcomponents from different WikiEducator pages, localisation, ...)
        • export and import resources to/from other mainstream OER initiatives and institutionally hosted repositories - enabling and promoting seamless interoperability
    • Effectiveness: foster innovative OER Practices - or "Pedagogical" (innovation)
      • Establish an enabling environment for community-led learning design innovation
        • encourage sharing of and building on ideas from the community on
          • effective OER practices, especially where these overcome difficult circumstances (e.g. low bandwidth, challenging localisation requirements, learner diversity, ...)
          • blended learning scenarios using and inspiring technical innovation
      • Implement standards which will enable community-led technical innovation for effective practices.
  3. Extend the Reach of Open Education - spawn new OER initiatives, communities and ecosystems
    • Raise awareness and (cumulatively) develop resources (e.g. case studies and guides) for this purpose
    • Enhance related features of WE:
      • social networking features
        • e.g. templates for associating resources and communities hosted by external social networks (e.g. Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, Ning, ...)
      • multi-modal access (e.g. printed text, CD, voice, braille, video) via a variety of devices (PCs, PDAs, cell phones, ...)
      • extending the range of offline editing alternatives that can be used in conjunction with online OER collaborative authoring tools
      • selective print-on-demand of OER resources for the publishing industry those with limited Internet access
    • Stimulate, facilitate and catalyse OER collaboration, for example
      • with Ministries of Education and other government agencies to implement national collaborative OER initiatives
      • with national qualifications authorities to support and encourage the mapping of OER content to national qualification frameworks and foster the release/development of libre/open international qualification frameworks where appropriate
    • Facilitate international connections through our global network to assist education institutions to maximise their return on OER investment through best-practice derived from successful OER projects in WikiEducator.

Key activities for 2009 & 2010

General Comments

The term OER is overloaded (in the same sense as is the term "intellectual property") as it covers many different types of educational resources which should be discussed separately (e.g images, texts, lesson plans, discussion fora, practices, LMSs, ...). It might help to specify our focus at the beginning - most likely "curriculum related base learning resources in English intended to be adapted" (as opposed to other types of OER such as LMSs, media production software, etc.).

We need a convention for the abbreviation "OER": e.g. use "OER" for both singular and plural (decide and be consistent).

OER is a problematic concept -- but its the one we have. The OER FOundation aims to work with all this types of educational resources in support of national curricula and we aim to be multi-lingual. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:47, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Have already fixed the inconsistent use of singular / plural - thanks --Wayne Mackintosh 02:47, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

BIG thanks again for all the time and effort in providing this level of feedback. Really appreciate this --Wayne Mackintosh 02:27, 16 July 2009 (UTC)