School of Engineering and Management

Business and Organisational Models of Open Education

This course is part of the programme:
Master in Leadership in Open Education (Second Level)

Objectives and competences

The aim of this course is to give students the overview of the business models and plans development as well as the correponding organisational models in OE, and to empower them to develop appropriate models in a particular OE context.

Students will gain the following competences:

- Knowledge about the basics of business models, organisational structures of the OE organisations and some of the existing OE ecosystems;

- Knowledge about market trends, developments in OE, actors, processes and organisational models in detail;

- Competences to develop and implement business models and propose corresponding organisational structures in the context of OE and OL;

- Ability to develop appropriate added value models and oragnizational models, taking into account advanced technology solutions for open education.


There are no prerequisits.

Content (Syllabus outline)

The aim of this course is to give students the overview of the business models and plans development as well as the correponding organisational models in OE.

During the course, students will be learning about business and organisational models in education in general. They will be exploring these in the context of openness which include open access, open data, open source software and open education. They will get familiar with various existing business models and mecha-nisms and approaches to the operation.

In particular, they will be learning the way and procedures for business model development, business plan development and the develop-ment of the corresponding organisational mod-els and structures. These will include different approaches and mechanisms that are used in traditional business model and plan develop-ment. In addition, these will be explained through the traditional business model as-sessment approaches and demonstrated through some of the successful and effective models in operation.

The introduction part will be followed by gain-ing deep insight into dominant organisational and financial models and frameworks for OE on national and international level. The Business Model Canvas (BMC) as framework will provide them with a tool to use when implementing OE strategies.

Students will be learning how to assess the existing approaches and to adopt them to their needs.

Students will combine online lectures and self-learning to get a more detailed and specific knowledge about business models in OE and OL.

Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course the student:

- Knows about the basics of business models, organisational structures of the OE organisations and some of the existing OE ecosystems;

- is able to develop and implement business models and propose corresponding organisational structures in the context of OE;

- has knowledge and skills to critically evaluate existing models, and understands the value and risks of their implementation.


Bacsich, P. (2016). Business Models for Opening Up Education. Sero Consulting Ltd, for D-TRANSFORM.

Downes, S. (2007). Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources. Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects, 2007(3). 29-44.

Kalman, Y. M. (2014). A race to the bottom: MOOCs and higher education business models. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 29(1), 5-14.

Obrist, M. & Jansen, D. (2017). Existing MOOC business models. Discussion Paper.

Orr, D. & Janssen, B. (2018). Guidelines on the Development of Open Educational Resources (OER) Policies. Full draft version September 2018, delivered to UNESCO and COL under CC-BY license, and to be published as joint UNESCO-COL publication, edited by Fengchun Miao & Sanjaya Mishra, under CC-BY-SA license (no url yet available)

Orr, D., Weller, M. & Farrow, R. (2018). Models for online, open, flexible and technology enhanced higher education across the globe – a comparative analysis. ICDE, Oslo. ISBN: 978-82-93172-40-6.

Osterwalder & Pigneur (2010). Business Model Generation. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. ISBN: 978-0470-87641-1.

Stacey, P. & Pearson, S.H. (2017). Made with Creative Commons. Creative Commons, USA. ISBN 978-87-998733-3-3


To demonstrate competency in this course, students need to complete all of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard: • Attendance of F2F and virtual meeting and active in-class participation in discussions (by means of written weekly discussion notes): 20% • Team based business model assignment and presentation: 40% (case report 30%, presentation 5% and discussion 5%) • Final assessment to test the theoretical klnowledge as well the ability to use the concepts and models to existing business models: 40%

Lecturer's references

Robert Schuwer is Lector (Professor) in Open Educational Resources at Fontys University of Applied Sciences, School of ICT in Eindhoven. He is an expert in the use of open learning materials and other forms of open and online education, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). He has been responsible for initiating Open Educational Practices and research around this. In September 2016 he became UNESCO Chair on Open Educational Resources and promotes OER adoption by Teachers, Learners and Institutions. He obtained his Master degrees in 1980 in mathematics at the Catholic University Nijmegen and in Computer Science in 1989 at Eindhoven University of Technology. He obtained his PhD at Eindhoven University of Technology in 1993 with a thesis on the value of Knowledge Base Systems. His specialization includes data and process modeling for system development. He has experience with teaching Management Science and Computer Science, and also experience as CTO at a software development company, project leader and independant consultant for solving information problems. He also worked as a project leader of OpenER project at the Open University Netherlands from 2006 until 2008. He was also leading a project of “Content at the national program Wikiwijs” from 2009 until 2013. Robert Schuwer has held a position of chairman of the Special Interest Group Open Education – SURF (since 2010) and as Captain of the subprogram Towards (open) digital educational resources in the Dutch Acceleration agenda for Innovation of Higher Education using Technology (since 2018).

More detailed information available at:


University course code: 2LOE13

Year of study: 1

Course principal:




  • Lectures: 30 hours
  • Individual work: 120 hours

Course type: compulsory elective

Languages: slovenian or english

Learning and teaching methods:
- the course will be run as a combination of the on-campus lectures, face-to-face consultations, online lectures, hands-on and group discussion. - by attending lectures at the university students will get a good insight into the added value/business models and organisation structures for oe at the national nad organisational level. in particular, they will learn about all elements that are necessary to develop a business model and will consider all relevant mechanisms to create a corresponding organisational model. - students will study best practices and some existing models that are most suitable for oe and ol. this is how they will learn to critically assess and evaluate existing practices. - basic lectures will be done onsite, specific lectures will be provided remotely using open learning lectures combined with the mentoring and group discussions. - in the remote learning part, students will be learning in-depth about particular models and will focus on a case study they are most familiar with. - students will groupwise explore and develop a business model for their own educational institution. - before the end of the semester, students will gather again at the university to solve potential problems and talk face-to-face with various mentors. the outcomes of the group work will be presented to all, discussed and critically assessed. - 50 % of contact hour will be face-to-face, and 50 % will be online.