Open Educational Resources | Feature

5 Ideas for Spreading OER


What's the best way to get people moving in the right direction with open educational resources? "We always say that adopting OER is an all-college effort," declared Una Daly, community college outreach director for the Open Education Consortium. She suggested five ways to broaden use of OER within your institution:

1) Do a survey to understand the level of OER awareness among faculty and to find out who your OER champions are.

2) Set up an OER fellowship program that will give those champions public recognition; provide faculty with release time to allow them to develop and update OER curriculum; and reward them with spiffs such as tablets — inexpensive but relevant tools for supporting their efforts.

3) Integrate OER awareness into your professional development efforts, whether that's at your center for teaching and learning, part of your "flex" days or something else.

4) Put your librarians on the job. "They're amazing," said Daly. "They're ideal people to help faculty who might be looking for materials."

5) Get instructional designers involved, since they can make sure a particular piece of OER content is accessible to students with disabilities.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at

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