Use this play to:

Challenge faculty to jump in and just try OER for the first time, using content that gives them an easy starting point for making the shift to open content.  

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Running the Play

Many faculty members get nervous worrying about how much work it might take to develop their perfect OER course. This play focuses on lowering the barrier to entry, so that virtually anyone teaching a high-enrollment course can feel comfortable getting started using OER course materials with a strong track record for success with other faculty.

For this Play, you’ll want to talk about the differences between adopting, adapting, and building a course. Then have a conversation with your faculty about what they dislike about their current textbook.  You might want them to brainstorm about their course. What’s their course about? How do they know that the students learn? What would they like to change? Whatever the series of questions, get them excited to talk about their course.

Then ask them how many times they’ve adjusted to a new LMS or textbook. It’s likely they’ve been through several transitions with their course materials or technology throughout their teaching career. Why not start with what already exists and add your expertise to improve what’s already there?

Some strategies:

  1. Find teachers who are willing to try something new, especially those teaching high-enrollment subjects for which strong, comprehensive OER content is available.
  2. Highlight the importance of adopting an OER course now to benefit their students right away, knowing they can further adapt it course later based on their experiences teaching and learning with the OER content.
  3. Encourage the teachers to try teaching an OER course that already exists, such as those available in the Lumen OER Course Catalog. Explain that the OER course is ready to go as a primary resource for the course.
  4. Connect new teachers with other faculty members who are experienced using OER at your institution or neighboring schools who have already taught with OER in their discipline. Encourage them to talk about recommended processes and approaches for successfully teaching with OER. 
  5. Coach teachers around simple ways to adapt open content their first time teaching an OER course: Hide or remove content that doesn’t fit your learning outcomes. Reorder topics to fit how you like to teach. Select or customize assessments to fit your syllabus.
  6. Advise teachers to take notes as they go about what they would change in the future, and to seek student feedback about their experiences learning with OER content.
  7. Mentor them to be part of a continuous improvement process that makes iterative updates to strengthen learning using OER content.  
  8. Support teachers to share their experiences with peers by participating in professional development opportunities and conferences at the local, regional, or national level. 
  9. Showcase their work to your administration and departments. Give them a platform to share what they’re learning and doing, and to help broaden awareness and interest in OER.

Helpful Resources

Video by Tompkins Cortland Community College featuring faculty members talking about their experiences adopting OER courses. 

Attributions: Photo by Erik Dungan on Unsplash