11. Consortium Affiliation or Independent Program

Regardless of whether an institution is affiliated with a consortium’s open educational resources program more broadly or their Pressbooks network more specifically, any institution with the requisite resources seeks to establish their own independence. Of the three eCampusOntario schools interviewed for this study, two – Ryerson University and Seneca College – already have their own institutional Pressbooks networks. The third, the University of Guelph, intends to acquire theirs sometime in the next year. SUNY OER Services also makes it a part of their mission not only to facilitate OER production through their own platform and program but to assist in establishing local OER programs on the individual campuses under their purview.

The motivation to acquire local, independent networks can be attributed to many causes, but the answer may lie in an institution’s ability to brand their own network for public use and track their own data. A local, independent network can be used to increase advocacy by serving as a public face of the OER program. Network managers at that institution also have the oversight of the entire network; they can monitor what books are being created and how users are registered. Independent networks can also integrate into an institution’s learning management system. Consortia may also enforce different restrictions on what content is created on their network. However, consortium networks are still an effective and useful tool for institutions that may not otherwise be able to create OER.

The choice to build an OER program in association with a consortium comes down to the needs and resources available to an individual institution. There is a great amount of value to be gained in partnership with a consortium, particularly in enabling OER production and use at institutions that would not otherwise be able to support a program.

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LIBRARY is the new PUBLISHER by Taylor McGrath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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