Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Open content for education in Africa

Kerryn McKay, Chris Armstrong, and Heather Ford, The Enterprise Commons: Growing sustainable open content for accessible education in Africa, Commons Sense, version 1.0, March 2006. (Thanks to Open Business.) Excerpt:
The word “business” may be a bit distracting when talking about educational projects. Unlike traditional business models that rely solely on commercial transactions between the company and its customers, the funding of open content education products comes mostly from public foundations, international donors and government departments. Although open educational publishing projects are typically not developed around pure business or commercial goals, all of them require a strategy that addresses long-term viability in order to sustain themselves after what is usually only an initial period of funding. Sustainability of open educational content projects is referred to further in this manual as an elusive “golden egg” that is dependent on a range of interdependent factors. Projects partnerships; the development, licensing and procurement of content; content dissemination; interactivity and user statistics; innovative and entrepreneurial scope and, lastly, project finding are analysed through the lens of “openness” in this guide. From this perspective, the guide has attempted to analyse to what extent “openness” plays a part in the project’s sustainability and whether there are any clear trends that similar projects could follow in achieving success in providing accessible, quality educational services.