Creating an OER Roadmap
Use of open content or learning materials on a college campus represents a daunting paradigm shift for both faculty and the institution (see Open Educational Resources: Toward a New Educational Paradigm). Orchestrating such a shift requires a coordinated and system-wide effort that marshals the expertise, resources, and skills from a broad spectrum of the campus community.
Step One: Needs Assessment
Conduct a needs assessment of stakeholders to determine knowledge of, interest in, and use of OER on campus. In order to promote use of OER across campus, the unique challenges on campus must be identified and addressed.
Campus stakeholders might include:
- Faculty opinion leaders
- Bookstore manager
- Campus printshop manager
- Academic senate
- Department Chairs
- Faculty association
- Academic deans
- Curriculum committee
- Faculty trainers
- Tech support staff
- Boards of Trustees
A needs assessment can be conducted in a number of ways:
- Online survey (see OER Faculty Needs Assessment Survey)
- Interviews with major stakeholders (e.g, librarians, individual faculty, faculty, academic senate, bookstore, campus printshop, etc.)
- Review of existing needs assessments (e.g., Results of a two-year study are presented in the article “Why Study Users: An Environmental Scan of Use and Users of Digital Resources in the Humanities and Social Sciences Undergraduate Education.” Based on this study, barriers to use of digital resources including the lack of direct relevance to their preferred pedagogical approaches, and insufficient time and classroom resources.)
Review of campus curriculum and syllabi for textbook requirements (e.g., Pedagogical approaches that rely heavily on proprietary textbooks for course content organization and dissemination are not consistent with adoption of OER.)
Step Two: Answer Strategic Questions
- What are the goals and timeline of the initiative e.g. affordability, faculty innovation, educational leadership?
- What kind of executive sponsorship and funding is available?
- How does the initiative align with the overall goals of the college?
- How might you incentivize participation e.g. technical support, stipends, board recognition?
- Will you need to build a website and get IT support?
- Will you have a steering committee, what will be its makeup e.g. faculty, deans, students, instructional designers, librarians, etc.
Step Three: Create the Implementation Plan
- Build vs. Adopt vs. Adapt
- How to involve stakeholders and market the intiative
- Determine how to get help and expertise
- Address licensing issues for content
- Establish sharing procedures for content
- Build in feedback loops for students, faculty, and others
- Think about longterm sustainability