From the Experts: How to Scale up OER and Digital Resources at Your Institution
By Mark Christensen
You’ve successfully started the shift toward digital and open educational resources (OER) at your institution. Your faculty is all on board, and your students love the cost savings. The few courses you started with are now sailing along.
But you might be asking, “How do I scale this initiative up across campus?”
It’s a great question. Which prompted us to pull together a panel of academic experts for our webinar: Scaling Digital and OER for Maximum Benefit. Hosted by the Online Learning Consortium. Below is a short video highlighting their insights and tips to help you take the next step toward increasing the availability of digital content, including OER, at your institution.
Take a few minutes to listen and learn. Click below.
It’s on your radar. You’ve thought about it. Expanding the availability of digital content, including OER, and increasing its use at your institution. And you know students accessing a multiverse of course materials (that are affordable and ready to go on or before day one of class) is only going to support their success.
But, how do you take what you’ve started and scale it up across the entire campus? What are some things to keep in mind when planning to take it to the next level? Stakeholder buy-in, communication, and management play an important part.
Enabling leadership from a variety of offices within your school community is essential to making sure your initiative is well supported and a priority. From the president, academic deans, instructional designers, faculty, and all the way to that well-connected alumni member. All serve a vital role in making the paradigm shift to increase digital options at your institution.
As Gerry Hanley, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Technology Services at California State University System sees it,
“So you can’t think of this as just a technology strategy, and it’s not just a content strategy. It has to be an institutional strategy that engages many different layered levels of your organization.”
Well said, Gerry.
It sounds simple. Communicate. But having a communication plan that goes beyond just informing your students is a key element. Noah Lamb, Director of Student Account Services and Auxiliary Operations at Hodges University shares,
“You have to communicate with the academic side, with the administrative side, with the community at large of what you’re trying to accomplish and how you’re trying to assist the students.”
Taking a wide communication approach ensures all your community is well informed and prepared. Plus, it’s an excellent way to promote how your institution is taking advantage of emerging course material options and saving students money!
Digital content, including OER, is a living, breathing thing. Having an operational plan, as an institution, helps you manage the OER that you put into your courses and checks to make sure it continues to be useful and valid.
Kate Freeborn, Manager of Content Strategy at Capella University explains,
“For us, we manage that in the course environment level. To make sure that the content stays live, stays aligned in the courses, in the way that we’ve built them. And in the way that we intended for our learners to use it.”
Increasing the availability of digital content, including OER, at your institution is an exciting undertaking. These are just a few tips to set you on your way.
Want to learn more? Click on the link below and listen to the complete Scaling Digital and OER for Maximum Benefit webinar.