What are the potential economic gains to be harnessed from OER?


Here are four (4) potential economic gains that could be harnessed from OER:

  1. Harnessing OER in the creation of new, contextually relevant courses.
    The case study from Guyana (page 13) demonstrates powerfully the significant cost reductions that this approach can yield. The OERu is an example of a global consortium of universities that is harnessing OER to offer open, flexible, and credit-bearing post-secondary courses to formal (fee-paying) and informal learners worldwide.

  2. Applying open licences in the textbook market.
    The economics of the textbook market, especially in places where economies of scale are readily applied, indicate clearly that significant efficiency gains can be attained by shifting to open licences. This approach is accompanied by clear evidence from around the world that governments and other institutions are increasingly understanding its potential and starting to shift decisively towards such models. For example, Tidewater Community College in the United States pioneered the development of the zero texbook costs "Z degree. This initiative results in improved program persistence, performance, and completion, a model that is referred to as the INTRO (INcreased Tuition Revenue through OER) model.

  3. Releasing research under open licences.
    Although not OER per se, research is a critical resource requirement for effective education, particularly at the higher education level. Although there is still some debate about the merits of open access approaches, data is emerging that demonstrates the economic value to be gained from supporting open access models.

  4. Harnessing OER to create alternative accreditation pricing models.
    This work is still in its infancy, and thus there is no concrete data to demonstrate actual economic gains, but it will be interesting to monitor progress in this area over the next few years.

To know more about this topic, please explore this (free) e-book: “Exploring the business case for Open Educational Resources”.

For more information about Open Business Models, please read this article by Paul Stacey.

OER, economic gains, potential, courses, open licenses, textbook, research, accreditation

Butcher, N., & Hoosen, S. (2012). Exploring the business case for Open Educational Resources. Retrieved from http://oasis.col.org/handle/11599/57

Stacey, P. (2016). What is an open business model and how can you generate revenue? Retrieved from https://medium.com/made-with-creative-commons/what-is-an-open-business-model-and-how-can-you-generate-revenue-5854d2659b15#.88ztp9msv

Wiley, D., Williams, L., DeMarte, D., & Hilton, J. (2016). The Tidewater Z-Degree and the INTRO Model for Sustaining OER Adoption. education policy analysis archives, 24, 41. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.24.1828