Many faculty resist adopting OERs, questioning their quality; others say they are too busy to consider developing their own. However, when a college is fortunate to have faculty who have developed and/or adopted OERs, those faculty can recommend their use to others with an added air of credibility. The experienced faculty are in a position to offer expertise to others throughout the process of considering new OER development and adoption.
Mark Kelland is a psychology professor at Lansing Community College (LCC) who wrote a personality textbook for a major publisher. Eventually, however, he regained the ownership of his copyright and began giving the textbook to his students for free. Now that his book is available on OpenStax CNX, he is the first faculty member at LCC to make a full textbook available as an OER. Recently he began developing OERs for another course, and he led the way successfully encouraging his colleagues to adopt the OpenStax College textbook for introductory psychology. In this presentation, Mark will share his experiences writing traditional academic material as compared to OERs, and the advantages of choosing the OER option.
Kari Richards is the faculty chair for the foreign language program at LCC. She has actively adopted OERs for her own classes in German, and supported others in considering the adoption of OERs for courses in French and Spanish. With Kari's encouragement and support, our first OER foreign language course (Conversational German) launched fall 2015, and in spring 2016 there were two additional OER foreign language courses (Conversational French & Spanish). All three OER foreign language courses were created by adjunct faculty and have received positive feedback from the students. Along with Mark, Kari has been identified as one of the leading faculty advocates for OERs on LCC's campus (Mark as a full-time professor; Kari as an adjunct professor).
The latter point is an example of one of the most interesting experiences we have encountered: that many adjunct faculty are the ones eager to consider OERs. We have begun enlisting and encouraging our adjunct faculty in particular to help develop enough OER-based courses to support several z-degrees at LCC (zero-textbook-cost degrees in psychology and our two general transfer degrees). Both Mark and Kari are focused on encouraging campus-wide use of OERs at LCC, supporting the faculty who are willing to participate, and ultimately winning over everyone else. An important part of this presentation will be a discussion of what we envision as the future of OER development and adoption at LCC, and the initial positive experiences we have encountered while attempting to enlist others to join us.
Supported by an academic librarian who has become the OER Project Manager on campus, with Mark representing the full-time faculty and Kari representing the adjunct faculty, we have a motivated and active team supporting the development and adoption of OERs on our campus. We anticipate a groundswell of support across campus as we move forward in our own programs and the initial z-degrees.