Hi @feb21-cohort, thank you all for sharing your time and updates during this week’s session!
As we discussed, Rebus is happy to share communication materials about your project as well as any Calls for Participation (#cfp) that you might have. We will post about your project in our channels (social media and newsletter) and feature a 300 word blog post on the Rebus Foundation blog.
So far, it looks like Jenna and Mary will have something to share in April (targeting mid-April); Niki by mid-May; and the Manitoba team later in the summer (to be decided). Let me know if you have questions about this or want to coordinate when you are ready.
I’ve put together a quick recap of our session; please let me know if you have questions.
Recruiting and Managing Contributors
There are a lot of people who will want to join forces with you on your project. Before you start recruiting, we advise you to take a step back and begin by reflecting on project needs and gaps. Consult with your leadership or existing team about what phases are next, what roles are needed and whether these roles can be combined. Then, write out the details of what you’d want this person to do — this forms the basis of the job description, which you can edit later on.
Keep the job description precise and concise; look at our slides for what to include. Welcoming and explicit language in your job description and call for participation is critical to encourage participation from all groups. You can link out to this job description in your official call for participation (cfp). While there’s a lot to include here, highlight what the role is, why they should be interested, and how they can get in touch.
Take a look at a sample cfp for a detailed breakdown on how to structure your call. Prior to sending out your cfp, you should also plan out the logistics of writing, sharing, and responding to the call, so you don’t end up rushing to figure this out after the call is out. This ranges from setting up tracking sheets to see how the call is faring with the community to preparing onboarding workflows.
With all this ready, you can finally share the call widely (in field-specific or Open Education channels depending on the role), and begin responding to any interested parties. Particularly leverage existing networks you are a part of:
- The Open Education Network: use their platform to announce the project and help direct others to CFPs
- Regional networks: use the existing CUNY and Manitoba OER network to share CFPs and announcements
Take a look at our example mailing list document for more channels you can tap into, and be sure to add in more that are subject or discipline appropriate. You can even look at contacting creators of existing OER, and tapping into their networks!
Make sure you get back to people quickly and clearly explain next steps. If someone is not the right fit for a particular role, see if there are other ways they can be involved, or at the very least, keep them in the loop. And in both cases, don’t forget to thank them for taking the time to respond. Take a look at our full list of strategies when responding to a potential contributor. If you’re not receiving as many responses as you’d like, don’t despair. Review and revise the cfp and job description, and look at whether there may be other channels to target or a better time to post the call.
Once you have recruited and onboarded the contributors you need, it’s good to keep them continuously engaged. In our experience, the most successful projects are the ones that keep the initial buzz around the project and team alive, so take a look at our suggestions to engage your team. Repeat this process with new team members as needed, and remember that adding someone new to the project is an exciting milestone. It demonstrates that your project is resonating with others, so much so that they are willing to volunteer their time and skills to help it succeed. Celebrate that!