A business model approach for OER in Open Universities

Posted on zondag 30 september 2012

Tags: business model, oer, ounl

Ben Janssen, Robert Schuwer and Fred Mulder have written an interesting article about business model scenarios for open universities. This article discusses the challenges an Open University faces when offering its learning materials as Open Educational Resources (OER).

In the article they discuss three scenarios:

  • Publish everything as OER, students pay for additional learning services
  • Only publish some materials for marketing benefit
  • Publish 10% of the resources and students pay for access to the rest and the additional services.

They researched these three scenarios at the Open University Netherlands and come to an interesting conclusion:

The most prominent conclusion of our research is that through all the outcomes presented we can observe a similar pattern, which is that the percentage of people inclined to take a course and to enrol increases when the share of OER in the offerings grows: the more OER offering, the more people and OUNL students seem to be inclined to enrol.

They are writting that the Executive Board of the Open Universiteit will use this for deciding which road the university will take in the OER journey. I'm interested to hear what they decide.


Janssen, B.; Schuwer, R. & Mulder, F.(2012). A business model approach for OER in Open Universities. In: Okada, A. (2012). Open Educational Resources and Social Networks: Co-Learning and Professional Development. London: Scholio Educational Research & Publishing.

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