Faculty panel discussions provide a prime opportunity for faculty members to share their experiences about teaching with open educational resources. They serve a dual purpose of recognizing the achievements of educators who have tried something new, while also demystifying what it takes to make the switch to OER.
Hearing from fellow faculty members about what works and how OER impacts teaching and learning can encourage others to explore this path.
This play is pretty simple:
- Identify opportunities to present a faculty panel discussion to an interested audience. This session format can be very effective at conferences, professional development events, and other meetings at the department, college, system, state, discipline, or national levels. Panels may be staged in-person or virtually, depending on the event.
- Commit your panelists to participate. Invite people who will be willing and engaging presenters, and who get excited about sharing what they’re doing with peers.
- Develop and submit your session proposal. Submission deadlines may occur months before the actual meeting, so be sure to work within any applicable deadlines.
Below are several few examples of session descriptions we’ve used for a faculty panel to discuss their experience with Lumen’s OER courseware. It helps to have faculty from different institutions and disciplines to do most of the speaking, with another representative (such as an OER initiative leader or a Lumen point person) as the facilitator.
- Coordinate the logistics. Once your session is confirmed, it is most effective for a session leader or facilitator to take the lead on coordinating how to structure the session and the role each panelist will play. Scheduling a brief coordinating call and circulating a session outline help make sure everyone is on the same page. It may also be helpful to distribute a common presentation template (if slides are needed, which may or may not be the case) and schedule an at-conference meeting for panelists to connect in advance of the session.
Sample Faculty Panel Descriptions
Example #1 (from WCET 2017)
Doubling Down on Human Connections in the Age of Digital Courseware
Speaker: John Gibson, Faculty, Business & IT, Glendale Community College
Speaker: Paul Golisch, Executive Director
Speaker: Alyson Indrunas, Director, Teaching and Learning, Lumen Learning
Speaker: Olga Kopp, Professor of Biology, Utah Valley University
Offering a variety of approaches to personalized and adaptive learning, digital courseware has the potential to help or harm the learning experience, depending on how well it supports both instructors and students. Using a show-and-tell approach from a multi-year implementation of digital courseware designed using open educational resources (OER), this session explores how courseware can impact student success by strengthening integration, communication, learner feedback, and curricular flexibility. Informed by learning data analysis, it also offers cautionary guidance about what happens when real-world students and teachers use – or fail to use – courseware as designed, and the net impact on student outcomes.
Example #2 (from ELI 2018)
Improving Access, Affordability, AND Achievement with OER in Maryland
Speaker: MJ Bishop, Director, Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, University System of Maryland
Speaker: Katherine Cameron, Associate Professor, Applied Psychology & Rehabilitation Counseling, Coppin State University
Speaker: Josh Baron, Executive Director, Lumen Learning
Open educational resources (OER) are openly licensed instructional materials that are also typically available at little or no cost. While university administrators and state legislators are quick to hone in on potential cost savings for students, studies suggest OER also show promise to enhance learning. This session will discuss how a statewide initiative in Maryland is exploring the promise of OERs to reduce students’ cost of attendance as well as maintain, and perhaps improve, learning outcomes. Besides replacing pricey textbooks with OER, some faculty are also using technology-enhanced OER to implement personalized learning strategies aimed at strengthening success.
Example #3 (not submitted)
Title: Student Engagement Approaches For Transitional Studies – Personalized Learning and Customizable Courses
Description: “Personalized learning” is a buzz phrase, but what does it mean for teaching and learning? This interactive panel session will feature a show-and-tell from faculty piloting next-generation courseware. The panel’s facilitator will be Lumen Learning’s Director of Teaching and Learning and the eLearning Director and an adjunct faculty member from Walla Walla Community College. They will discuss strategies of moving from an eTextbook to the Waymaker courseware for a Transitional Studies course.
The panel will focus on 1) mastery learning; 2) student agency and metacognition; 3) day-one access to content using open educational resources; and 4) faculty-student personalized learning connections. This panel will share experiences and lead an interactive discussion about opportunities to explore and evaluate efficacy of personalized learning as well as how to customize courses.