A key challenge facing open educators is the lack of accepted sustainable business models (Wiley, 2007; Downes, 2007; Sclater, 2010). Open approaches can be characterised along many vectors, including technologies used, flexibility in content delivery and choice, alternative assessment and accreditation, teaching methods and pedagogies. This presentation reports the results of a recent study into open education approaches along the vectors of open, online, flexible and technology enhanced (OOFAT) learning. The OOFAT Models project is funded by the International Council for Distance Education and conducted by researchers from The Open University (UK) and Forschungsinstitut für Bildungs- und Sozialökonomie (FIBS) (Germany). The OOFAT concept models Content (consisting of subject knowledge, support and guidance and learning analytics, which together make up the entirety of the didactical process); Delivery (consisting of the qualities of place, pace and timing of delivery of the content, key events and processes); and Recognition and assessment (consisting of both assessment and credentialization, which are formal processes leading to recognition of learning achievements). Each of these dimensions are analysed in terms of flexibility (how digital technology is harnessed to reduce the need for physical presence) and openness (how the principle of openness is integrated into the core processes; from closed group to open network). We contextualize these dimensions using a closed/open business typology (Taran et al., 2015). More than 50 case studies have been developed using this model and several exemplar business models identified. The project methodology was designed to facilitate data visualization and visual analysis of differences between cases. The results are likely to be relevant to policymakers and managers as well as those with an interest in benchmarking and comparing alternative approaches. The presentation will also include suggestions for future research using the OOFAT model.
Keywords: open, online, flexible, technology-enhanced, sustainability, educational models, policy, OER, MOOC
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