This post was contributed by Claire Dannenbaum, Reference and Instruction Librarian & Library Coordinator for OER, Lane Community College.
OER at Lane – Objects in mirror are closer than they appear!
Lane Community College made progress toward increasing the use of OER in the 2015/2016 academic year. We focused on three strategies this year: improving outreach, program administration, and creating incentives. For the future our goal is to measure what our progress means in real dollars saved by students.
Outreach! There is never too much.
Outreach to faculty included four Open Textbook Workshops with 40 attendees in the fall and spring. Some were seasoned OER users seeking a new textbook but 80% were absolute “newbies” to OER. Faculty receive a $200 stipend for attending a workshop and writing a review for the Open Textbook Library, sponsored by OER at Lane and Open Oregon Educational Resources. Of the 15 faculty that participated in workshops last fall, 3 adopted open textbooks and saved 169 students an estimated $16,900 in winter and spring quarters!
Other OER outreach strategies that Lane pursued this year include:
- The Library OER Coordinator provided a tailor-made OER “briefing” at the regular faculty departmental meetings for Math, Social Sciences, and Language, Literature and Communication (LLC). These meetings resulted in discussion among department cohorts about OER and the need to collaborate on changes.
- Our student-led OSPIRG hosted an OER panel with three presenters—the Library OER Coordinator, the bookstore manager, and a faculty OER champion—which generated positive discussion between students, faculty, and administration.
- A short presentation to the campus Learning Council (a governance council with Executive-level members) resulted in conversations about the Lane OER Steering Committee becoming a subcommittee of the Learning Council. While this conversation is still unfolding, it is an important step toward institutionalizing our OER program as a component of a campus-wide teaching and learning framework.
- The Library’s Guide to OER was updated with new resources and received over 600 online visitors this year.
Sharing information across a campus with 16+ departments and divisions is key to creating a diverse and effective OER program with representation from faculty, administrators, students, and staff. Our OER Steering Committee has written a charge that will knit together campus groups with a work plan of structural and administrative projects around promotion, adoption, and implementation of OER at Lane.
Our OER Steering Committee membership is distributed across campus and will benefit from the structured approach built into our work plan. Projects for next year include new and improved OER branding, strategic liaison work in the library, sharing data from surveys, a new student OER intern position, and representation on campus governance councils. A librarian/coordinator position devoted to OER at Lane will be fundamental to ongoing success at Lane. Hopefully, the traction made by the Steering Committee will help us achieve a permanent OER Coordinator position.
The Steering Committee will also crunch the data from two surveys: one conducted in 2014/2015 by student leadership focusing on student perceptions of OER, and one conducted in 2016 by our Academic Technology team focusing on faculty. The survey data will help us better understand who is using what, in which courses, for how many students. We know that approximately 50 faculty are using OER and low-coast materials in their courses. This information, coupled with data from the campus bookstore, will result in objective metrics about the effectiveness of our efforts. Money saved is, of course, the metric everyone holds their breath for… but it remains the hardest measure to make with confidence.
Our work plan shows a whole lot of work to do, and now we have a recipe!
Creating incentives for instructors to “do something” OER is an important way to respond to faculty interest in a timely way. Four Lane instructors received funding for OER projects in the recent 2015/2016 Open Oregon grant cycle:
- Jennifer von Ammon will adopt Writing for Success by Scott McLean for WR 115.
- Tom Burton and Meredith Keene-Wilson will revise and remix Digital Foundations, Intro to Media Design by xtine burrough and Michael Mandiberg, Graphic Arts Technology Model, Adobe Education Exchange, and Georgia Virtual Learning – OER Digital Design for ART 216. Digital Design Tools is an entry-level course in a rapidly changing field; use of OERs will keep instructional materials current.
- Alise Lamoreaux will create a new open textbook for Transitioning To College For Non-Traditional Students. This textbook will focus on the “college knowledge” and contextual skills needed to understand college and be a successful college student.
- Teryk Morris at Lane, and Peter Lauf, Lane ESD, are creating materials for manufacturing. This project will document a process by which any school can build an educational DRO (Digital Readout) that teachers can use to create easily sharable projects that include much more detail and instructional material than traditionally possible. Follow their work at http://site.ironpunk.org/
Lane is also implementing a campus incentive program to support faculty with OER grants in three categories: review grants, adoption/adaption grants, and creation grants. Our goal is to offer OER incentive grants through open application 4 times a year so that we can respond quickly to instructor need and enthusiasm. Our first call for proposals was just released in time for summer projects.
All in all, the OER at Lane program has had a very productive year with an array of teaching, learning, and implementation opportunities for the campus community. We have lots of projects on the horizon that will strengthen our OER program and increase momentum for individual instructors to use OER, align OER within departments, and, ultimately, create a more open campus culture.