This simple, 5-step process helps faculty members feel well-supported through the process of designing and teaching a course using OER.
Running the Play
A central part of your role as a champion is to help faculty members feel well-supported and successful through the process of adopting open educational resources.
Pro-Tip: Whenever you’re working with faculty to adopt OER, try to use the word “curating” instead of “building” or “writing.” Most general education courses have some OER available for faculty to adopt and/or adapt. For most, the adoption process is more about bringing together and adjusting the right set of resources rather than building from scratch.
As you’re consulting with faculty members about shifting to OER, it’s important to listen to them before you gather materials. Ask them to envision what they’ve always wanted to do with their course design but they haven’t had/made the time to do so. Ask them to list everything they like and dislike about their current textbook. More importantly, ask them to list what they would like to change about their course.
This discussion provides a common foundation for what they want to achieve with their OER course.
Then use this five-step guide for consulting with faculty about their OER adoption.
Step 1: Gather Your Syllabus and Outcomes:
Gather your syllabus, course outline, objectives, and assessments. If you have a course map available, use that as well.
Answer these questions:
- What is this course about?
- What do students have to learn in this course?
Step 2: Research OER Content
Identify and review OER content that aligns with your outcomes. Where available, consider using pre-curated sets of OER course materials and/or complete OER textbooks that give you a more complete starting point to cover all your course outcomes. Some great places to find OER content include:
Curate your content to ensure it aligns with your learning outcomes. Content can be text, video, media, podcasts, simulations, interactives, learning activities, etc. Keep good notes about your content sources and references, to make the next step easy. A course map can be a useful tool to organize and track outcomes, the learning activities and OER content they align with, the sources and licensing of the content you select.
Gather additional resources in any areas you find gaps, and prune out content that doesn’t fit your learning outcomes. Think of this stage as research for the course. During this stage, you answer the following questions:
- How will my students understand major concepts in this course?
- What are the core components to support my outcomes?
- What are enhancements to the core components of the course?
Step 3: Review Licensing
Doing research in your discipline is familiar territory. With the great notes you took during Step 2 about your sources and references, list attributions. (This may already be taken care if you’re working from a pre-curated set of course materials, like Lumen Learning Catalog courses.)
During this stage, you answer this question: What do we need to license, attribute, and/or cite on each page of your course to adhere to the open licensing protocol?
Step 4: Return To Your Assessments
Once you’ve identified your course content, it’s time to review your formative and summative assessments, to make sure they still align well with the content and learning outcomes.
In this stage, you want to answer the questions:
- What will my students do to demonstrate their learning?
- What assignments have I already written that I can revise, remix, and/or reuse with the content I’ve curated during Step 2?
Stage 5: Finalize, Publish, and Teach Your Course
Assemble your course materials and assessments in the platform or technology you’ve selected to deliver your OER course. Review your syllabus and make any adjustments to ensure alignment with the final course you have assembled.
In this stage, you may want to note gaps in content and other missing elements. During this stage, answer these questions:
- How am I delivering my OER course to students?
- What is my deadline for having my course ready to teach?
- To what extent does my course cover all the necessary elements to be complete and ready to teach? How will I fill any remaining gaps?
- What other “nice to have” elements and improvements would I like to add?
- What will I be looking for as I begin teaching my course, to help me identify what’s working well and areas for improvement in the future?