Session 11 Links:
Our focus in Session 11 was all about the life of your OER after release — what happens when it is used in the classroom? How do you keep it up-to-date so it stays relevant going forward? There are many possibilities for adaptation and growth that your OER allows and this will feed back into the community around the book. This phase is an exciting one as you determine how your OER is being used, what impact it is having, and what ways to share this more widely. Sharing insights and impact can take many forms, but what matters is to continue the storytelling process! The work you’ve done to create and use your OER matters, so make it visible.
We also explored the basics of tracking the impact and efficacy of your OER with adoptions. As you know, OER are living documents that tend to change and evolve over time — to better respond to the needs of you and others who are using it. As the resource takes on a slightly different shape, so will your role as creator. An adopted resource is one that has been assigned (in part or in full) as part of the materials for a given course. Adoptions can have significant value because they are one of the ways to measure the impact of your book.
Given the digital first nature of OER, it’s not as easy to track when and how an OER is being used. Start by polling your team members to see who is using the book. As you broaden the net, encourage adopters to self-report via a simple adoption form. Be clear in the form too why you are collecting the data that you are, and what you intend to do with it — information collection should be transparent and consensual. Make sure you link to this form from your book homepage and all other communications during the book’s release.
Adopters are part of the book’s growing community so connect them with one another and provide multiple lines of communication between the users of the book to share their feedback or coordinate on improvements. Recall the 7 principles of Indigenous Storywork and Indigenous Educational Frameworks from Session 3: Respect, responsibility, reverence, reciprocity, holism, interrelatedness, and synergy. In creating OER, we hold a shared responsibility to make sure we are responsive to feedback, mindful of further accessibility improvements needed, paying attention to changes needed based on evolving conversations in the discipline and more. It’s important for educational materials to stay current — be it in terms of form or content!
Maintaining and keeping your OER current will ensure its continued relevance and ongoing adoptions of your book, year after year. Anyone invested in the value of the resource has an incentive to contribute to maintaining and updating it — so be public about the work you’re doing on the book. This will let people know when to expect changes and how to offer their support. More significant changes should be made outside of academic sessions so as not to disrupt students. Keep a record of edits and updates in the book’s Version History. Once an OER is “out there,” it gets adopted and used in classrooms, opening the possibility up for feedback from students. In doing so, you can determine the impact the OER is having and also look for ways to improve and update the OER so it serves students even better!
The life after release is an exciting period to show the support that the community has towards the book and to see your hard work pay off. What starts out as just a project team in the scoping phase turns into what we think of as the ‘community of practice’ around your book, including adopters, adapters, readers, and more, all around the world. Behold the power of collaboration and open education!
Next week, we’ll be moving into our final session in Phase 1 of the TSP! Join us next week, where we’ll be reflecting on the past 12 weeks and looking ahead to Phase 2. We hope to see everyone there, so we can spend some time as a group to look back and plan ahead!