OER and Sustainability Models

2.2 Use, Re-used or Produce an OER

3.1 Sustainable Models for OER

There are numerous initiatives in the context of Open Educational Resources, with different models of organization and operation. Wiley (2007b) illustrates this diversity, identifying three sustainable models of OER, based on criteria such as size, organization and content creation, among other services.  Sustainability is also linked to funding models or with business models that an institution, a group or an individual adopt to adopt, support or manage OER.  Table 4 presents the 3 main Sustainable Models for OER considered as study cases in the world that adopted different approaches and the main differences between them.


Case 1

Case 2

Case 3

Course production goals 

All courses offered by MIT

Many courses offered by USU

Many courses offered anywhere

Control over courses produced 

High degree of control

Small degree of control

Practically no control

Cost per course produced 

USD 10 000

USD 5 000


Organisation size 




Table 4 - Models in use in OER initiatives (adapted Wiley, 2007b) 

Case 1) MIT model:

Centralized responsibility of an organization (4.3 million / year), with a high degree of centralization and coordination in terms of organization and delivery of services, which work is developed mainly by paid employees under the project. 

Case 2) the USU model 

Hybrid (+ organization volunteer academic work) (127,000 / year) with a mix of centralization and decentralization, from the organization or the services, in which the work is distributed by paid staff, but also by several volunteers. 

Case 3) the Rice model 

Decentralized (collaborative, community) (very low value per course) almost entirely decentralized, whose services are also almost totally provided by volunteers.