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An agile approach to managing open educational resources

Patrick Masson (Chief Information Officer based at The State University of New York, Delhi, New York, USA)
Ken Udas (Executive Director based at Penn State World Campus, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Philadelphia, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 14 August 2009




The purpose of this paper is to show that pointing to patterns of change in the adoption and institutionalization of educational resources, the appropriateness of traditional heavy and front‐loaded planning and management regimes is challenged in favor of alternative Agile Methods.


Starting from the simple observation that the original introduction of Course Management Systems to support online learning was ad hoc and evolutionary, rather than planned at an enterprise level, the paper points to the conflict between, and offers a solution for, open and decentralized resources and traditional teaching, learning, support, and management. By developing a logic to decentralization, a number of managerial strategies to improve agility are provided that address the changing nature of the university from one fundamentally designed to control, to one positioned to influence and adapt under the assumptions of change.


It is found that many components of the university including teaching, learning content, learning design, content development and management, and core infrastructure are shifting from centralized to decentralized models, while current management and governance practices remain centralized resulting in lagging development and increased risk.


The connections made here open a dialog for challenging and changing traditional management and decision‐making approaches within the organization, to better account for the environment that decentralized systems create.



Masson, P. and Udas, K. (2009), "An agile approach to managing open educational resources", On the Horizon, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 256-266.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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