by Kylie Tran (Manager, Library Services and Spaces), University of Melbourne and Nikki Andersen (Open Education Content Librarian), University of Southern Queensland.
This year CAUL’s Open Educational Resources (OER) Professional Development (PD) Program will develop an OER program. In 2021, the project team undertook an environmental scan, literature review and stakeholder survey to inform the design and delivery of this program. Here is what we’ve learned about OER PD so far:
What we learned from the environmental scan
The purpose of our environmental scan was to gain an understanding of the OER PD programs already on offer around the world. From the environmental scan we learned that:
- The majority of OER professional development programs were predominantly American. Surprisingly very few were located from Europe or the United Kingdom
- The OER programs identified used a mixture of platforms and tools. The majority were self-paced courses that offered modular learning
- Most programs and resources were created for, and aimed at, educators (academics/teaching staff/instructors). Some courses were aimed at both educators and students, such as USQ’s MOOC Repurposing Open Educational Resources: An Introduction. The minority were aimed at library staff
- The vast majority of programs and resources did not require payment to access or complete. In some instances, programs were freely accessible, but users had the option of paying for a certificate or similar credential
- The majority of programs do not provide credentials or it was unknown if they did provide them following completion
- Unsurprisingly, many of the programs included a Creative Commons license, enabling opportunities to reuse and acknowledge the content of the programs and resources.
What we learned from the literature review
From the literature review we learned that:
- The research favoured a whole course approach to capacity building, as opposed to ad-hoc workshops
- Successful PD programs placed learners in authentic real-world learning contexts, highlighting the importance of situating OER knowledge in participants’ work environments
- There was a wide variation in the inclusion of assessment and granting of credentials on completion
- The creation of a community of practice or mentorship was supported by the literature, with these networks helping participants grow and develop their OER proficiency
- The primary barrier to the completion of OER PD was the ability for participants to allocate time to complete PD, highlighting the importance of organisational support for staff to undertake PD
What we learned from the stakeholder survey
From the stakeholder survey, we learned that:
- Most institutions and individuals would find an OER PD program valuable
- The PD needs across Library staff are highly variable, from introductory to specialised
- The majority of respondents favoured (i) self-directed, primarily asynchronous online courses or programs offered over an extended study period followed by (ii) online seminar or lecture series (curated program of linked seminars).
We look forward to providing an OER PD Program to you all. Stay tuned!