Timing is the biggest threat to this play being successful. Many institutions decide too late in the game to tag courses, so beginning early will be key.
- Verify ability to tag courses and connect with key players to identify clear institutional timelines. Most institutions require up to nine months of lead time to institute a tag or course fee. Establish a table of deadlines for each semester that can be shared with faculty.
- Determine what your institution considers “Low Cost.” Faculty and student surveys can also serve to increase buy-in and overall awareness. When Maricopa determined the threshold for No Cost/Low Cost of $40 in 2014, they used an informal (non-IRB) poll to to determine what students felt low cost would be for course materials/texts. The result was $40.
- Promote timelines. Message departments about upcoming deadlines.
- Track Progress. Consider tracking how quickly and completely OER sections fill, which will give you fodder for further plays down the road (in many cases, courses with sections marked as low/no cost fill more quickly than their mainstream alternatives). In addition to tracking how quickly sections fill, consider tracking metrics such as drop/add and completion rates to further bolster the OER cause.
- Report results. Share the success of these sections with stakeholders to get other departments/courses on board and further your OER momentum.