Volunteer assignment:

Promote PEOI


PEOI offers online university level courses free of charge to absolutely anyone in the world. There close to 5000 students from 184 countries registered at PEOI, but about ten times that many are studying at PEOI since registration is not required. We believe PEOI could be useful to millions and millions of additional students. To achieve that level of service, PEOI needs to be better known, as well as recognized and appreciated by local authorities, and supported monetarily by interested parties.

Promotion of PEOI is necessary to reach the following five groups with the following purposes:

1- to serve a large student population:

Students are obviously the major and most immediate target group of PEOI's promotion. It is however believed that it is crucial not to oversell PEOI. Making promises PEOI can't hold now, will only be counter-productive. In our view, truth in advertising is very important for PEOI. PEOI's students must not be deceived or disappointed. The most potent promotion is in the quality of the courses PEOI delivers. If we manage to build a university education that serves young people well, they will come to PEOI because the education is free.

This aspect that PEOI's education being truly free and open, is the feature that needs to be promoted above all. The idea of open education is new. Most people do not entirely comprehend what it is, and many do not believe it exists. A trully open education such as PEOI's is entirely free in many aspects. First of all, it requires no monetary payment. It is also open to all: there are no impediments to enrolment or registration. PEOI's education is non-governmental; in other words, it is free of political influence. Many countries have free education, but such education is never open to all because of competitions to enter and lack of space and resources to study. Conversely, PEOI's education is always available to all, irrespective to how many other students are using PEOI at any time.

2- to attract qualified course authors and other volunteers:
Creating each of PEOI's online university courses takes hundreds of hours of work, and PEOI needs a lot of help for that. The most important volunteer must be a university professor or a professional with a lot of experience, who will write the chapters of the course, comparable to any major textbook. Most courses are developed in teams, and the team leader is the key person that assigns tasks and verifies progress continues in the project.
Many other contributors must assist the course author and/or team leader, such as those who
- design illustrations,
- create audio segments,
- write assignments and cases,
- compile statistics,
- upload research findings,
- set up links to websites containing relevant information,
- assemble reading and reference lists,
- build test questions data banks,
- prepare topics for class discussions,
- edit all the content,
- review, and offer suggestions for improvements,
- update and expand the content in the future.

All courses at PEOI are forever updatable and expandable, and PEOI must recruit new volunteers for that continuously. Some volunteers will also be asked to act as instructors for completed courses, grade assignments, supervise and give advice to enrolled students who have questions.
It is also necessary to maintain a continuous flow of information to PEOI's current volunteers so as to motivate them and retain their interest in PEOI. This promotion team could, for instance, conduct events for groups of volunteers, or devise methods of recognition and appreciation of volunteer work.
3- to inform future employers of PEOI's students:
Businesses will eventually be the main beneficiaries of PEOI's training because they will not have to spend money training their employees. Eventually, PEOI counts on monetary support from employers who hire PEOI's students. This is the heart of PEOI's business model: delivering training for which employers will want to pay. In many countries (especially developing countries) a major shortcoming is the insufficiency of education and well educated potential employees. Naturally, employers will not pay until PEOI actually delivers such training; and PEOI is not delivering it yet. So, PEOI is now in its phase of creating the teaching. This phase started then years ago, and is likely to last at least another ten years. But, it is already time to start informing businesses about what PEOI is doing.
4- to recruit partner institutions and secure government approval:
PEOI will eventually seek accreditation for its university courses once a program of studies is completed. Accreditation is recognized only in the country where it is given. For PEOI's courses to be recognized in other countries, its courses must be delivered by a local university. Therefore, PEOI must enter into partnership agreements with institutions of higher education in as many countries as possible. The education ministry of these countries (as well as other governmental agencies) must be supportive of such agreements, and for that, must be educated about PEOI.
5- to make PEOI better known to potential donors:
Although PEOI has operated for the past ten years relying entirely on volunteers with virtually no funding. The volume of work at PEOI has increased so much that full-time paid employees are now necessary. To pay for these employees support from foundations must be secured for a few years, that is until businesses recognize the monetary benefit of PEOI's training of their employees, and PEOI alumini students who obtain employment with the help of PEOI's training, decide to give PEOI money so that PEOI can continue to train others like them.

We are seeking to form a team of volunteers who can develop and implement such a strategy in promotion, advertisement and public relations. Since PEOI does not have funding at the present time, all the methods must require no payment. Some promotional material has already been developed. More and better targeted material must be created to aim at the various groups of interest.

One of the major promotional vehicle is expected to be a newsletter. Team members will have to design newsletters with content specifically appropriate to each of the target groups identified above. These newsletters are likely to be different for each group. They may be based on events reported in PEOI newsletters sent to volunteers. Team members have a crucial role in delivering these newsletters so that they are not discarded as spam by receipients. The timing of the newsletters may be monthly or quarterly. In the beginning of each year, an annual report will gather major ideas from the recent newsletters.

Other promotional vehicles are flyers, posters and other publications. As mentioned, some exist already, but they must appear new, fresh and up-to-date to be convincing. Note that these materials must be written in all PEOI's languages which implies that PEOI's promotion team must have translators or work in harmony with PEOI's translation teams. Another area where PEOI's promotion team can be instrumental is in making PEOI's home page in each of its languages more attractive and fresh.

Other methods that can be employed include:
- write press releases about progress at PEOI;
- arrange for articles about PEOI to appear in newspapers and magazine;
- seek pro-bono advertising in the media;
- arrange of PEOI to be discussed or mentioned in radio and TV broadcasts;
- participate in conferences, trade shows and other events where PEOI's promotional material can be distributed;
- approach government agencies and elected officials about the service PEOI offers;
- contact university faculty and adminitration about use of PEOI's courses as free textbooks and about potential writing of PEOI's courses by faculty;
- build partnerships with institutions of higher education;
- arrange for PEOI to be listed on all websites and in all publications where open education and/or university courses are reviewed;
- implement all methods for PEOI to get high ranking in all search engine results .

Please bring your skills to help millions of disadvantaged students all over the world. Thank you for your interest.

All tasks can be carried out at your own time. Volunteers can join in forum discussions of issues of common interest. Registration is necessary to participate in a forum. New volunteers are invited to register as volunteer staff members. For more details, pease write a short message indicating the volunteer opportunity you are interested in, attach a recent CV, and email to the appropriate person in contact information.

To ask questions, and to offer your comments, criticism or suggestion, please mailto:peoi@peoi.org .