About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4712-4714
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain


F. de Langen

Open University of the Netherlands (NETHERLANDS)
Commercial organizations try to innovate through openness and collaboration, offering knowledge and materials invites others to collaborate and improve on the original resources. This process is called Open Innovation (Chesborough, 2006). Yet, organizations should do so from their own strength: giving away your core competences is bad business, even when you’re not in business.

In the ’70s of the former century, this was called the innovation paradox and used to explain why the national level of innovation will be below its potential level.

Cure for this paradox is twofold: -1- a good system of IP’s, so the inventing firm can also secure the income of the innovation; -2- government subsidized innovation.

Opening up education offers the possibility to share programs, or as Wiley (2014) argues, developing competence profiles and the accompanying programs, techniques and assessments. By offering open competence programs, more institutions can develop new experiments based on these programs, improve and change the programs, which will feed back in the education of the original developers.

This line of thought opens an interesting question: What is the core competence, resource, program or technique of a specific educational institution? What is the distinctive characteristic which distinguishes one HEI from another? There is also a dangerous side to these possibilities. We know that both governments as boards of HEI’s have seen Open Educational Resources, MOOCs and other open educational materials as a way to reduce teaching costs.

It causes the paradox of open education: using OER can decrease teaching costs, producing OER will increase costs of the organization. The sensible management decision will be to demand that people use OER in their teachings, forbidding them to produce free materials for others.

Question is whether there is a business model or even an organizational system, which facilitates opening up education and at the same time helps individual HEI’s to maintain their own identity.

In this paper, a conceptual model will be developed building on the following assumptions:
1. the production of OER is costly in the sense of hours spend;
2. there is none or little incentive for an individual organization or department to offer free materials and programs in isolation;
3. open education will increase efficiency (lower overall costs of education) and,
4. open education increase effectivity (best materials will be used, freeing resources for additional teaching and teaching materials),

The solution seems to be an external force redistributing income over the producers and users of OER. On a national level, government agencies could reward the supply and use of open courses by subsidizing the suppliers, without punishing the users by cutting back there teaching funds (which in itself is not a challenge for the HEI’s, but more for the politicians to resist the temptation to save money on the education budget).

Yet, by reading each other signals in the sense that organizations will open-up non-core courses; collaboration in these fields can make education more efficient and effective: collaboration needs communication.
author = {de Langen, F.},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {4712-4714}}
AU - F. de Langen
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 4712
EP - 4714
ER -
F. de Langen (2015) SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MODELS IN DISTANCE EDUCATION, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 4712-4714.