This session will review the status and findings of a research study that examines the adoption process and use of faculty created OER in higher education. Faculty that use OER and have support from administration extend the institution's outreach, augment collaborations among colleagues, and benefit the global community (Perkins, 2010). However, the extent of those benefits depends on the very donations of intellectual energy and time faculty and administration are willing to contribute (Perkins, 2010). The study described in this session seeks to describe the innovation and adoption process of OER, which includes the attributes faculty believe constitute a valuable and sustainable OER and what instructional supports are meaningful to the use of faculty created OER. New innovations that improve student learning, are efficient, and save money are prevalent in higher education. Now is the time to find out why some faculty support and adopt OER while others stop.
Research studies on OER and faculty adoption have been implemented in certain global regions. For example, The Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa (TESSA) program developed OER to promote innovative and sustainable pedagogical change aimed to improve education in higher education institutions (Murphy & Wolfenden, 2013). Hodgkinson-Williams and Gray (2009) studied a program at the University of Cape Town with respect to key attributes of OER, to find out how to make the transition processes from traditional materials to OER more effortless for the educators. In Canada, faculty and instructional designers reviewed a large number of OER and identified challenges for potential reuse in a variety of higher education disciplines (DeVries, 2013). There is a lack of research being performed in the United States on this global issue. New studies such as this performed in the United States are putting the innovation and adoption of OER into a new context and support future innovation and adoption.