A college-wide open education project begins with faculty awareness of open education issues and tools. Early adopters will grow their own skillsets in adopting open materials, but institutions that seek more widespread adoption of open practices should establish professional development programs that support open education.
The following is a short list of opportunities and ideas for how to present open education training for faculty and staff.
OER and Creative Commons Awareness
Given that creative commons licensing is the catalyst for ensuring that faculty can legally use the OER materials, this is a critical component and not only provides us with an opportunity to share the licensing but also allows us to share the benefits of using OER materials. Some of the resources we share are a MOOC created by Matthew Bloom which provides a great overview of creative commons licensing and the materials recently shared by Highline College.
Skills for searching and reviewing OER
In a 2015 survey 48% of faculty respondents reported that a major barrier to selecting OER instead of commercially produced materials was how difficult it is to find open materials. For this reason it is necessary to introduce interested participants to a process of finding, evaluating, and adopting open materials in all professional development programs.
Providing a workshop that helps faculty search the repositories, highlights some materials and gives them an opportunity to review the OER provides a scaffolded experience in a safe learning environment providing the foundation to do some of this work on their own.
Curating, remixing and creating OER materials
Once a faculty member has decided to try open education in her own class, it might be necessary for the instructor to learn what tools are available to help her collect and share materials with her students. Sessions related to this concept might include demonstrations of curation tools, discussions on how students are most likely to access course materials, and how to scaffold materials most effectively for students.
Maintaining a log of resources
Providing attribution is a critical component in creative commons licensing, and strong faculty development programs stress the need to document where every component of course materials comes from. This applies to images, sounds, as well as textual materials, documents, powerpoints, etc. The Maricopa Millions project provides this worksheet (see last page) to help faculty keep track of where materials are found and what licenses they have.
Reviewing the OER Course
Institutions might handle this differently, but many places find it important to do an assessment before open education courses are shared. Benefits of a peer review process for open courses includes a chance to practice collegial discussion of how course outcomes are demonstrated, promotion of open education, recognition of great teaching practices, and possible greater course adoptions.
At the Maricopa Milllions project materials go through a review peer review process that uses the ACHIEVE rubric and teams of 3 faculty (a mix of subject matter experts and other faculty) to review the course materials. Of course, these peer reviewers need to have the OER awareness training mentioned above and also must have training on using the rubric.
Another example of the review process is the Pierce Open Project (POP) Rubric. Pierce College developed a review process that floats on top of a more traditional Quality Matters review.
While these are the main components of a faculty development plan, there are always opportunities to meet the unique needs of faculty through personalized sessions and just-in-time visits. What other components do you have in your faculty development plans regarding OER and what resources do you have available for the CCCOER community?