Who doesn’t love a coffee break? Informal, one-on-one conversations with faculty members can go far towards building bridges and gaining buy-in.
The key to making this play happen is to get these conversations onto the calendar at the start of the term. Book faculty members before they get too busy with grading, prep, and committee work. Think of this time as an informal conversation about what faculty need from you and your institution’s leadership as they explore options for affordable learning materials and OER.
Can’t get faculty to commit? Go to their office hours early in the quarter before they get booked up by their students. Bring the hot beverage of their choice and grab a few minutes to chat where they are most comfortable: their office.
Ideally, during this time you can spend a lot of time listening to faculty. Ask them about their choice of learning materials, what they know about OER, and whether they’ve had an opportunity to review OER in their discipline. Ask about their goals for teaching and learning in the classroom, and then follow-up with ideas on how you can help them achieve their goals.
- Invite faculty into a peer reviewer role. Introduce them to high quality OER in their discipline and ask them to evaluate available resources and let you know what they think. This gives them an opportunity to go hands-on and see how OER compares to other options. And it gives you an excuse to come back and follow up.
- Don’t forget your online teachers! Consider scheduling a virtual coffee conversation. Most likely you have teachers who rarely if ever come campus, and they may be doing innovative work under the radar. Use the virtual coffee break as an opportunity to connect with your online teachers. Invite several to the same virtual coffee conversation. Have a loose agenda with a few guiding questions and aim to listen and create community among your online faculty.