FAQs: Membership

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Will membership of the OER Foundation contribute to my institution's international recognition in Open Education?

Yes. Working with OERs demonstrates an organisational commitment to the core values of education of sharing knowledge. In the eyes of the learners you serve, open education will contribute to your "brand" being valued as a trusted educational provider.

What are the categories of OERF membership?

The OER Foundation offers a range of membership categories to suit your open education needs. Starting from US$200 you can stake your claim in becoming an active participant in the world's return to sharing knowledge for the social good of education.

What is the monetary value of benefits compared to the cost of membership?

The quantifiable benefits of our most "expensive" membership alternative exceeds the cost of membership by US$7,100. This is based on assessing the costs of establishing an organisational OER wiki initiative and related professional development support compared with collaborating with an established global OER project. We've already done all the hard work in achieving critical mass and international reputation which in the spirit of open education, we would like to share with our members.

Basic Active membership package Cost to member Going it alone Details
International OER networking and exposure > 100 Countries Restricted WikiEducator is an international open education project connecting educators and institutions from more than 100 countries around the world.
Financial contribution - Silver membership US$8,000 This represents the most expensive membership option, but quantifiable benefits exceed the cost of membership.
Internal wiki installation and technical support Included US $7,200 OER Foundation provides access to a maintained wiki installation and ongoing technology innovations.(Estimated at 0.2 full-time equivalent technical support plus server lease costs)
Online Training workshops (12 per year) Included US $6,500 The OER Foundation provides a free online training workshop every month (0.1 FTE - Presenting 12, 3-day equivalent workshops)
14 hours Professional OER consultancy. marketing/networking support Included US $1,400 As an international community, the OER Foundation has access to experienced OER practitioners and facilitators to minimize the learning curve for educators at your institution.
  • Ongoing consultancy (discounted rate)
US$60 per hour US$100 per hour The OER Foundation provides 10 free consulting hours to get started in making OER work for your organisation plus ongoing consulting services if required.

Total US$8,000 US$15,100

Will open education enhance organisational learning for collaboration?

Yes. Higher education is faced with the challenges of declining resources and changing dynamics. Institutions are are searching for ways to optimise resources and to become more effective. While collaboration strategies provide unique opportunities for the academy, the problem is "that we keep trying to force collaborative innovations into a structure and culture that supports individual work"[1]. The values of education underscore the need for collaboration however, learning how to collaborate is the cornerstone for harnessing the lasting benefits yet not easy to achieve.

Open education is founded on the traditions of the academy. The the peer-production models adopted by the OER Foundation provide the pre-requisite environment necessary for authentic organisational learning and maturation for successful collaboration strategies. As an open system rooted in the principles of self-organisation, exemplified by the wiki-model, the OER Foundation supports a low risk environment for staff and organisations to learn how to collaborate effectively.

Our approach is rooted in a Capability Maturity Model whereby organisations progressively improve their capacity for collaboration through experiential learning. The independence of the OER Foundation combined with open content licensing removes the "traditional political" barriers to collaboration because all partners have the potential to gain without the risks of loosing anything. Organisations have the freedom to choose and select areas for focused collaboration and facilitated by an international mass-collaboration initiative natural partners and synergies emerge from the network. This is difficult to replicate with institutional-based open collaborations.

What are the immediate and quantifiable benefits of becoming a contributing member of the OER foundation?

  • Global confirmation and recognition of your social responsibility: Membership of the OER Foundation sends a clear signal to the world of your organisation's contribution to sustainable education futures. Be recognized for supporting a rapidly-growing, influential and inclusive educational ecosystem. (The OER Foundation encourages member institutions to develop a short case study or institutional reflection why they participate in open education which is profiled on the WikiEducator website.)
  • Quantifiable benefits and services exceeding the cost of membership: A Gold membership of USD5,000 per annum generates USD15,100s worth of quantifiable benefits compared with hosting you own OER wiki project. These benefits include:
    • professional development opportunities for your staff (at least one facilitated online wiki skills training workshop every month),
    • professional consulting services for launching successful OER pilot projects in WikiEducator or enhancing the quality and impact of existing initiatives (Silver and Gold members will receive 12 - 14 hours of professional consulting services from a senior and experienced OER WikiEducator professional. Should you require additional support, discounted consulting services apply for contributing members)
  • International networking and new exposure beyond your existing networks: Membership of the OER Foundation means joining the world's fastest growing and productive educational wiki in the formal education sector. Active engagement within our global community will generate connections well beyond your existing networks.

What are the categories of OERF membership?

The OER Foundation offers a range of membership categories to suit your open education needs. Starting from US$200 you can stake your claim in becoming an active participant in the world's return to sharing knowledge for the social good of education.

How do we join and pay for an OERF membership?

You can pay for your membership by credit card using PayPal or by direct wire transfer. Visit our membership page or send an email to Wayne Mackintosh for any membership related queries.

What support is available when my institution joins the OER Foundation?

Bronze, silver, gold and platinum members receive dedicated institutional support, including:

  • a dedicated facilitator to support your institution's successful launch and implementation of projects on WikiEducator.
  • community-building and organization development support (asynchronous, synchronous) -- to develop clusters of WikiEducators within your institution.
  • access to communications materials and key messages for stakeholder engagement and 'buy-in' and performance.
  • professional development support (i.e., wiki skills training)

Can my department join the OER Foundation?

Yes. Individual teaching or academic departments, schools or faculties may join the OER Foundation as contributing members. In time, departmental members may share the costs of membership with other departments in the same institution. From the perspective of the OER Foundation, we have a standard membership fee which is calculated on an institutional basis irrespective of how many departments from the institution contribute to the membership fee. Departmental members should inform the OER Foundation how they require their membership to be acknowledged on the website (i.e institutional or departmental membership).

Can my group join the OER Foundation?

Yes. The OER Foundation has a standard membership fee which is calculated regardless of how many departments from the institution contribute to the membership fee. Please inform the OER Foundation regarding how you would like your membership to be acknowledged.

Is an institution-wide commitment to open-access course materials required to join the OERF?

No. Joining the OER Foundation does NOT imply or require an institution-wide commitment to releasing all materials under open content licenses. (There are justifiable reasons why institutions may not be able to do this, for example, course materials which are licensed under third party licenses which do not permit open access or courses containing materials with specific confidentiality requirements, for instance, case studies in the health sciences.)

The OER Foundation respects freedom of choice, including the freedom to host closed courses. We encourage institutions who want to test the OER waters to adopt a pilot approach by selecting courses or sub-sections of courses where the benefits of open collaboration will make a significant difference. (i.e., cost-savings, staff productivity, leadership, etc.)

Can my institution host OER content developed collaboratively on WikiEducator on local servers?

Yes. As openly licensed content, institutions are free to host local instances of content resources on their local servers or local learning management system. We use an open application programming interface (API) and as the technology roadmap of the OER Foundation matures, we will provide more options and alternatives for hosting OER resources locally.

What technology advances and related benefits will my membership of the OER Foundation support?

The OER Foundation supports WikiEducator's community value of a forward-looking disposition working together to find appropriate and sustainable technology innovations for the future implementation of open education. As an educational community we focus on relevant education solutions. Moreover, as an open source software initiative, all OER Foundation technology innovations are released under free software licenses ensuring that members will have unrestricted access to the source code of our technology innovations thus protecting your investment in open education. Our technology roadmap highlights the following technological improvements:

  • Lowering the barriers of participation for all educators through the implementation of WYSIWYG editing thus removing the necessity for new members to learn wiki text and wiki formating.
  • Widening import and export alternatives for hosting static instances of OER content by building a bridge between the Connexions and WikiEducator repositories.
  • Incorporating a range of educational relevant content features, learning interactions and enhanced search capabilities for mapping OER content to national curricula.
  • Implementing technical solutions to support academic peer review and community ratings of OER resources on WikiEducator.
  • Enhanced content export capabilities including formats for improved integration with learning management systems, mobile devices and customised alternatives for print-on-demand services and institutional branding of OER content materials.

Does the OER Foundation facilitate member collaboration and foster "co-opetition"?

Yes. The OER Foundation supports and facilitates member collaboration on innovative OER projects. In terms of "co-opetition", OER is the educational equivalent where organizations collaborate in areas where they can share common costs. Consider for example, the successful collaboration between Toyota and Peugeot Citroen who share design, component parts and a jointly owned manufacturing plant to produce competing city cars[20].



  1. Kezar, A.J. & Lester, J. 2009. Organizing Higher Education for Collaboration: A Guide for Campus Leaders. Jossey-Bass higher and adult education series. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.