The OER ecosystem

The combination of underlying content and the individuals, institutions, and organizations that contribute to and use that content to advance teacher practice and learning

A definition of sustainability

The cycle of content creation, distribution, use, and revision is perpetuated by the participants in and beneficiaries of the ecosystem

Sustainability for OER will require a shared focus on its potential impact and balancing the interests of all stakeholders.

Open educational resources (OER) have gained popularity and demonstrated their early potential to improve student outcomes through rigorously developed, customizable materials at low cost. As a result, it has become increasingly important to consider the long-term viability of the ecosystem of content and organizations, institutions, and people who create, share, and use OER.

The following report is based on stakeholder interviews and a literature review of OER and other open-driven industries. It presents a definition of sustainability for the OER ecosystem and a series of challenges and potential solutions to realizing a sustainable ecosystem. While the report considers international contexts, examples are largely focused on the US context of K-12 and higher education procurement practices and Common Core standards alignment.

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Do you have any questions about the report’s background, content, or implications for your own work? Please reach out. We’d love to help.

    About the Authors
  • Nathan Huttner

    Nathan leads Redstone’s education practice, developing strategies, business plans, and impact initiatives to improve K-12 and higher education, and has also served clients in shared prosperity, health, and climate.

  • Lee Green

    Lee is a Director at Redstone and co-leads the firm’s Environment practice.

  • Rachel Cowher

    Rachel works with a range of foundations and nonprofits on strategic planning, organizational sustainability, and program evaluation