5 Professional Development

Cultivating OER supports and making them easily accessible are key to faculty recruitment, engagement, and successful OER course conversion. Common barriers to OER adoption could be reduced by educating faculty about available OER resources and expanding the OER community on campus.

Faculty Collaboration

Faculty highly value peer-to-peer learning and collaboration around OER course development but are often unaware of other faculty on campus using OER. Some colleges have convened OER committees or task forces and strategically selected faculty to provide broad representation across campus. In addition, faculty can connect across the Wisconsin Technical College System to help adopt, adapt and create OER in their subject area. System-Called Meetings for faculty provide a great platform to connect with other instructors and share OER insights. A few OER projects have advanced faculty collaboration across the System, including OpenRN (led by Chippewa Valley Technical College, CVTC) which is developing five open textbooks for nursing courses, and the Medical Terminology Create Fest Work Group which is adapting an Open Textbook and developing ancillary course materials (led by WTCS OER Network).

Faculty can gain an introductory understanding of OER by taking the OER 101 FQAS course provided by CVTC. In this course, participants examine the problem with the current textbook publishing model, investigate student and faculty perceptions, identify stakeholders within their own institutions, review trends in the Wisconsin and higher education landscape, explore available resources, and begin a plan to get them started on their own OER journey.

Another key aspect of faculty OER learning is textbook remixing and creation, which allows instructors to have complete control over their learning materials and best fit these to the course objectives and their student needs. Collaborative learning communities that are cross-functional (e.g., librarians, instructional designers, faculty, etc.) work well to help support this more advanced level of OER use.

Cross-WTCS Collaboration

Across the Wisconsin Technical College System, OER work is led by the WTCS OER Network. This network is a cross-functional group of over 80 members, with participants from each college. Members include faculty, deans, librarians, instructional designers, bookstore staff, disability services, and college vice presidents. This network is coordinated by System Office staff. The core goals of this network are to help advance cross-college collaboration and sharing of OER, help colleges assess OER adoption and OER best practices, provide guidance on OER sustainability, and build a community of practice for OER. This OER Sustainability Framework guide has been developed out of a WTCS OER Network workgroup. To see updated information from the OER Network, visit the myWTCS OER webpage.


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WTCS OER Field Guide for Sustainability Planning Copyright © by WTCS OER Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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