Models for online, open, flexible and technology enhanced higher education across the globe – a comparative analysis

Dominic Orr, Martin Weller, Rob Farrow, International Council for Open and Distance Education, Jun 12, 2018
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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This large report (65 page PDF) is a survey of what the authors are calling OOFAT - 'online, open, flexible and technology enhanced' resources. The unwieldy acronym should perhaps be seen as a warning. The authors define an 'OOFAT Model' combining content, deliver and recognition. Then by evaluating them along two dimensions - organizational flexibility and procedural openness - they created six 'OOFAT Types', which I won't list here. That gets you to page 10, and we're still in the executive summary. The authors then define five business strategies using OOFATs. So do we learn anything? We are told 'no one size fits all' and that 'the disruption model does not fit - a mixed economy is emerging.' Of course, only higher education institutions (HEIs) were surveyed - that's a bit like surveying nothing but taxi companies and concluding there's no disruption coming. The useful bit in the report is the list of technologies employed (p. 22). The OOFAT taxonomy, meanwhile, strikes me as arbitrary. Via Martin Weller, who offers a summary.

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