6 Professional Development and OE


In this section you will consider different modes of faculty professional development related to OE.


Once your college has invested in OE, faculty will need support in adapting and adopting OE. The most effective support for OE is one-on-one interactions, however, that is not always realistic considering staffing and time limitations. There are many different themes for OE professional development. The following describes some themes and possible professional development events that you could use at your institution.

OER Theory

“Why OER?” is the main question that this series of messages. The messaging here will be on the positive side of OER with room for conversations about the many different visions of the open movement.

Deciding to go OER

This will be a series of meetings/ sessions/conversations about OER. The project team will listen, provide some expert opinion, but focus mostly on hearing what people have to say about engaging in the OER Movement.

Students talk about OER

We will promote OER by asking students to advocate for their learning needs. We will ask them to describe what they need, how they engage with learning resources and to make compelling arguments for the use of OER.

Teachers talk about OER

People who have adopted OER into their teaching will talk about successes, struggles, how they continue to make changes. The main focus of this advocacy is to invite experienced people to share their wisdom.

Selection and Adoption

Once a person is interested in using OER, we need to encourage them by offering support in finding and adopting OER. There will many access points into these topics. The end focus is always going to be on driving the process of adoption.

Finding OER

How does someone find an appropriate OER? There are multiple avenues for finding and using OER. This topic can be covered one on one, in full sessions, with adoption teams and through web training. People will be able to decide how they want access to these lessons.

How to review learning materials/Selecting materials

Choosing learning resources, even conventional ones, is frustrating because no one ever tells us how to do it. We will offer training sessions and models to help participants figure out how to review and choose a learning resource.

Quality of OER

One big issue for people conflicted over choosing OER is the perception of quality. Publishers “show their work” in the editing and peer reviewing of their learning materials. People who write OER are not always aware of how to get a review panel or that an apparent review will help promote the resource. In fact, normally OER creators are less interested in promotion over personal use of the material(s). We will take this issue head-on with conversation, review projects, comparisons and reality checks about conventionally published texts.

Planning with OER

Once a teacher has chosen an OER, how should she proceed? We will help the faculty member navigate the planning process, offering training on course design and getting material embraced by the institution. We will work through planning for student access to materials and addressing any legal issues with using the resource adopted. We will also talk about how to present materials to students.

OER and Teaching

OER has the potential to change how a faculty member teaches her course. This messaging will try to preempt concerns over how OER affects traditional classroom practice in order to offer comfort over the adaption of teaching toward OER.

Teaching with OER

We will invite experienced OER teachers to reflect on their teaching and how OER changed it. We will ask faculty members to talk about their successes to encourage others to follow in their footsteps.

Going Modular

Some adaptation of OER results in the loss of a centralized learning resource (perhaps a textbook). Instead, the students experience many different resources to access what was presented in a centralized textbook. When we think in terms of modularizing learning, so that each resource represents a chunk of the course, we can more easily adapt to several OERs.

This page was written by Quill West for Library as Open Education Leader, it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license and contains content from a variety of sources published under a variety of open licenses, including:


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Librarians as Open Education Advocates by Library As Open Education Leader Grant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


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