Individual Strength is in the Team: Using Team Culture to Build Community and OER Support

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Presentation given at Open Education Conference

The benefits of Open Educational Resources (OER) have been well documented, [1] [2] [3] yet many faculty in higher education still hesitate with using them in their courses. Repeatedly, the same issues are mentioned as barriers to incorporating OER. These include locating, evaluating, and knowledge of how to effectively incorporate the OER material to meet their course learning objectives [4] [5]. To help address these common barriers, one university is attempting a yearlong learning community approach to help guide faculty through the process of either adopting or creating OER materials. Coordinated by the Center for Teaching Excellence, this team is co-led by the Instructional Services Coordinator and a Research Services Librarian. The goal of this team is to create a sense of community and support for the most common issues faculty list as barriers to OER adoption and/or creation; finding and evaluating OER resources, and the pedagogy of designing course learning objectives and assignments around the OER material. The desired end product is the successful submission of a grant proposal for the state’s Affordable Learning Georgia Text Book initiative. Participants will learn how the community has been structured, and hear reports of the challenges, the successes, and what has been learned. Detailed descriptions of the guided working “boot camps” will provide a template for participants to design similar activities at their own institutions. Goals for carrying the project forward; including generating data and research opportunities, and creating a solid core community of OER supporters and mentors for additional faculty will also be discussed. Participants will leave this session understanding the critical role both research librarians and instructional designers play in advocating OER support in higher education. They will also have access to a libguide outlining the entire project and providing a template for designing activities to guide faculty through various stages of redesigning their courses with OER resources. 1. C. Hockings, P. Brett, M. Terentjevs, "Making a difference-inclusive learning and teaching in higher education through open educational resources", Distance Education, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 237-252, 2012. 2. G. Conole, "Fostering social inclusion through open educational resources (OER)", Distance Education, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 131-134, 2012. 3. L. Fischer, J. Hilton, T. Robinson, D. Wiley, "A multi-institutional study of the impact of open textbook adoption on the learning outcomes of post-secondary students", Journal of Computing in Higher Education, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 159-172, 2015. 4. I. E. Allen, J. Seaman, Opening the Textbook: Educational Resources in U. S. Higher Education 2015-16, Oakland, CA:Babson Survey Research Group, 2016. 5. I. DeVries, "Evaluating Open Educational Resources: Lessons Learned", Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 83, pp. 56-60, 2013.


Open Education Conference


Niagara Falls, NY