This short paper is a contribution to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) expert workshop to help identify "motivations, benefits and barriers for institutions producing open educational resources". The motivations are examined by looking at the reasons behind the launch by the Open University in the UK of a web based collection of open educational resources, OpenLearn. OpenLearn launched on October 25th 2006 and reflects an initiative backed by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Open University to develop a learning environment (LearningSpace) and an accompanying educator environment (LabSpace) giving free access to material derived from Open University courses. There are of course many reasons for the taking part in open educational resources and so this paper considers motivations in community, organisational, technical and economic terms.
The paper was initially prepared for the OECD experts meeting on Open Educational Resources 26-27 October 2006 in Barcelona, Spain.