Different Approaches to Sustaining Open Education

– [Matthew] So welcome everyone on the Open Education community to the second of our fall 2018 webinars from the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources. I’m Matthew Bloom. I am English faculty at
Scottsdale Community College in the Phoenix area in Arizona and I am on the CCCOER executive council serving in the capacity as helping with professional development. So I’m really excited to
have some folks here today to talk about their
experiences with sustainability in open educational resources and we’ll hopefully have some
really interesting discussions and I want to try to get as many responses and questions from the community as well. So we set aside some
specific time for that. So our specific agenda
for today is just to kind of do some very basic introduction and then give an overview of CCCOER. The introductions please
take a look at the chat because I know that a
lot of folks have already gone through and introduced
themselves in there and after that we have our roundtable. That’ll be the main part of it and then following that we’ll
just kind of let you know what’s going on at our next webinar and then we’ll be done. So let’s go ahead and get started ’cause I think that we
will have more than enough stuff to talk about today. So just in case you are,
you need a reminder I guess about CCCOER or if you’re not
familiar with the organization the mission of the Community
College Consortium for Open Educational Resources
is to as it says here expand awareness and
access to high-quality OER. I think that this is a, it’s
a community-based effort. It’s a lot of collaboration. We want to do the best
we can to support faculty and that’s why we exist as
a consortium is to be there to do what we can to help
you as members in whatever kind of open education goals you have. So it was really especially,
it’s kind of a privilege to be able to help when possible and of course improving
student success is always the ultimate goal for those things and our membership is, we
have membership in a number of different places, 30 different states, 70 members total and whoops, and so you can see that
we’ve got a lot spread out across the country but
obviously there’s still room for expansion so. So let’s just get to our
discussion for today. The roundtable we have, we
have some pretty distinguished speakers today. Well maybe two out of three. The first one’s me but the, so yeah that’s me. I’m the OER coordinator
Faculty-in-Residence coordinator for the Maricopa County
Colleges in Arizona. We also have Quill West
who is the Open Education Project Manager and OER Degree
Director at Pierce College District in Washington and
she is the President of the CCCOER Executive Council and then we have Nathan
Smith who is also the OER coordinator Faculty-in-Residence
and Philosophy Faculty at Houston Community Colleges in Texas and so without further ado,
I think that we can just go ahead and start. I think that the initial
idea was to kind of premise the entire discussion with the
definition of sustainability that really focused it kind
of comes from the ecological understanding of sustainability
which is as it says here, the ability of a system to remain diverse and produce indefinitely and in a sense, I think
I’m gonna be paraphrasing what I heard Quill say
yesterday when we were speaking is the idea that we are
leaving the system there for whoever’s going to take over after us and so it is very, very
much about thinking forward, thinking about the future, not
just successes in the moment but also successes in the
future and trying to keep that going. So how do we do it because
we work really hard and we try to build this stuff but if there aren’t certain
policies or infrastructural things in place or
financial decisions in place then it might be
difficult to keep it going so I’m gonna not talk a lot. What I want to do is like
I said, kind of just open this up and so this first one here, there’s three categories
and after each of the three topics, we’ll open up for
a little bit of discussion from the community. The first topic is the financial
aspect of sustainability and so Quill and Nathan,
whichever one of you is interested in starting, maybe
we’ll just go with Quill since you were the next
one in the list there. So the first question is
what financial models have you implemented for sustaining
OER at your institution? – [Quill] Hi everyone. Thank you and I apologize
if my voice is quiet. I have a bit of a cold. So financial models, I
think you have to start with the discussion of
what budget models can be reallocated to support what
you’re currently doing. So for example, at my institution, the leadership role,
meaning my role is really, really important to the ongoing use of OER at our institution and
the integration of OER into our institutional culture. So we have reallocated
some of the fees we already collect from the student
e-learning fee to pay my salary which I’m very grateful for but beyond that, it gives us
a little bit of flexibility in how OER work gets done
because the leadership for OER is not tied to specific grants
that we might be seeking and those kinds of things
that we might go seeking for to pay for faculty stipends. So that was one of our first
big kind of institutional changes in budgeting to
support OER at our institution. – [Matthew] All right, well
thank you very much Quill. And Nathan did you want to add anything? – Yes, sure. So our financial model,
basically we started with a a grant but as part of that grant process, we had to demonstrate
that we were matching the external funds with internal funds and so what that forced us to do was to actually create budget line items that supported the OER effort. So these are coming out
of the general funds for academic instruction and we currently have a budget for an OER, an OER budget line and
that budget includes the full release, the
release time for my position which is a faculty position that and I get a full release for that. I have a part-time
administrative assistant and I’ve also just added
a single course release for an additional faculty
member to assist me with some things. We have a small budget for
faculty training stipends, a small budget for travel, supplies and marketing. So the grand total on
that is not a big budget but there are lines for
each of these things and one of the things that’s useful is if you can create a line
for the OER in your budget, that sort of thing kind
of tends to roll over and it has a kind of
institutional inertia. It’s harder to get rid
of existing budget lines than it is to create new ones. – [Matthew] I think that’s
a very important point is that once you’ve got it in there, then you can hopefully
rely on that being there for a while. I just wanted to ask you
Nathan, to what extent do you feel confident that the
support from your institution is going to continue indefinitely now that you have the line in the budget? If grant funding starts to
run out and things like that, then what does that look
like for, in your situation? – Yeah so we’re, that’s
an ongoing conversation that we’re having. I think I’m, the current
leadership that we have in place, my, the person I report to
is really supportive of OER and as is the Vice
Chancellor of Instruction who’s kind of the head
chief academic officer. And so I have confidence
that that will continue but yeah the conversation
we’re having right now is sort of how to transition
some of the things that are coming out of the
grant to other revenue streams so we’re gonna be talking
about things like potentially a fee or reallocating
resources from other areas to support the, to support
things like faculty stipends, things like partnerships
with third parties that provide coursework
support, that kind of stuff. But yeah so, but I think that the current, my current budget will probably continue. I mean I’m pretty confident in that. – [Matthew] Excellent. So and Quill, I really
wanted to touch on something that you had said about
kind of the core idea is is that the position that you have and the OER support
that you have is kind of the result of the
repurposing of existing fees and I think that that fits
also into a discussion that we’re gonna have in a moment here about how to embed the open education work into the existing infrastructure or the institutional structure that exists so we’ll touch back on that but I was wondering if there
was anybody in the community who had any questions
related to specifically to the financial aspect of
sustainability at this point that we might be able to address? Anyone? Okay, well what we can do if
you do have those questions, go ahead and pop them into the chat window and we will see if we
have time at the end, we should have time at the end to address them. So I’ll just go ahead and
move on to the next thing. So after the financial sustainability, the idea is that we have, like I said, there is kind of this
infrastructural sustainability which is related to a lot
of the work that you do in terms of policy. So the next question that I have is what policy considerations
are necessary to support OER sustainability? So either Nathan or Quill,
whomever’s interested in addressing that, there’s some
suggested kind of sub-topics there but go ahead. – I’ll go first. So I think probably
most importantly and me, at my institution most
difficult to talk about is intellectual property
policies in terms of faculty generated work
but also in terms of just institutionally created work and ownership of it and
changing a traditional model around what intellectual property means at the institution. For us, that was a contract negotiation, as well as ongoing conversation with kind of our risk management folks around what does it mean when we
share our intellectual property and what are the challenges
to our institutions if we do? So I’d like to start
with that conversation because I think for us,
that started all of our policy conversations. It started, we started
with intellectual property, it kind of lead to some
conversations around what OER means at our institution. – [Matthew] Excellent, Nathan
did you have any experiences with intellectual property
policy at Houston? – Yeah so I’m, we’re
working on changing our intellectual property policy right now. We, so we were, we actually had a really good
intellectual property policy that was written I think around 2011, 2012 by an, a couple people who had been
involved in the OER effort so there was like, it was OER was listed in the
intellectual property policy and then in 2015, 2014, 2015, we adopted a state-wide term hold policy, we redid all of our
policies, it’s called TAZBE, but I think it’s Texas State School Boards and it has now put a
policy in place that is extremely limiting. It views all faculty
products as works for hire, essentially anything you produce
using any kind of support from the college and
that could your computer, it could be on campus Wi-Fi. If you’re using any of that stuff, anything that you create
is property of the college according to the policy. So I’m talking to some
people, we think this is, I think it’s a barrier to innovation and as well as certainly OER and so we’re trying to get that changed and that’s kind of a slow process but that’s a big thing for us. – [Matthew] Yeah and I think that that is an issue that everyone will
potentially face at some point. When we’re talking about
an initiative that is whether it’s something that
comes from the top down or it’s something that swells
from the ground or both, the truth is that a change in leadership or a change in, a major
change in policy like that can have an enormous
impact and you can’t always plan for that and that
brings to my attention something that I had spoken with Quill. You had mentioned in a
previous conversation, you had mentioned the importance of that supporting documentation. So I was wondering if you
would be willing to kind of stress or go into some detail
on what you see as the need, what you mean by supporting documentation and kind of why you see
that as so important. – So I think so much of the
OER effort at the institutions that I’ve worked for has really rested in, it’s a ground-up process
where the faculty kind of take ownership of it but without leadership,
meaning administrative support at the top, it can fall
apart or become very easily something that happens
in specialized places within the institution
so like the institution I work at right now has been
doing OER for over 10 years in the math department but not
beyond the math department. Or in very small pockets
beyond the math department. Until leadership said this
is something we do want to support the faculty
in and we’re gonna build an infrastructure to support it and as part of building
that infrastructure, it’s partially capturing
the reason why we made the decisions we made to do the things we did and so decisions around why did this, I mentioned that our
intellectual property policy is in our faculty negotiated contract. So that contract gets
renegotiated periodically. In fact we’re in negotiations right now. So if somebody in the
administration isn’t capturing the reason why we put the
language we put in the policy the way we put it in there, it’ll be forgotten in a couple of years and it could disappear on us because it could easily
just get negotiated out. Or if we don’t have a
reasoning behind the stipends we pay or the reason
why the administration put it into a strategic
plan, it could easily get taken out and that has
happened at the institution I worked at previously. They’ve been through two
executive vice presidents of instruction which is where
a lot of the initial support for the project started and it changed the face
of their OER project. Not in negative ways all the time but it helps if your
champions can tell why they’re champions and share that reasoning and that’s just a sustainability thing so the next person to
come along understands why it’s so culturally
important at your institution. – [Matthew] Absolutely and I think, I also think of this as,
in our situation here, if we have someone come
in a place of leadership or if we get new members
to our governing board of if we have maybe just
somebody for example very recently we found
out we’re gonna have a new director of IT and that’s a big deal because we’re trying
to, we have a commitment from the previous leadership
to spend a pretty decent chunk of money hosting
our Maricopa OER platform and so now we have to
kind of prepare materials to go and present and try
to make the case again and so having that stuff kind of packaged and ready to go with the all the numbers that you would need to make
the sell and things like that, I think is really super important and I would like to touch
on one of the questions that came into the chat
over the last few minutes. One of them said so when
do faculty stipends, when do those no longer become necessary and Nathan you had said
that there’s a small or a relatively small
budget for those kinds of things and it’s always
kind of tricky to see where we can do that. So I’m just wondering
what Nathan you think or Quill you can chime in too if you want but how is it that we
can start thinking about the OER work outside of special stipends and maybe kind of building
it into some of those existing infrastructures already and I think that goes
into our next slide so. What do you think about that Nathan? – Yeah I think, this is a great question. So I see faculty stipends
as performing two functions. On the one hand, they’re kind of carrots or sweeteners to get
people to get on board with the initiative and in so far as that’s the case, I do think at some point they do end and I think there’s a logic to that end. So for instance, right now we’re getting, we’ve actually decreased our
stipends pretty dramatically from the very beginning but
we still offer 300 dollars for the completion of an OER certificate which is a training program. Maybe that’ll continue
but that’s not a whole lot of the budget. The second thing though that
I think faculty stipends do and I don’t think that we
should see an end to this is that if we’re asking
faculty to create resources that like, that I think
in some sense that needs to be compensated. So if it’s not through some
tenured promotion process where a faculty member can receive the benefits of having
to actually contribute scholarly work to the OER, to developing OER then I
think it does make sense to have some stipend
procedure that sort of at least acknowledges
that labor has been spent on this, on these products
and that there should be some kind of a grant or program system. I think that’s actually
something that we wouldn’t, that I wouldn’t want to see end. – [Matthew] Yeah, okay. – But you did ask a question about the sort of integrating with other things and on the same topic, so when I developed our OER
certificate training program, I intentionally aligned this with existing training programs that are in our CTLE, our Center for Teaching,
Learning Excellence. So faculty completed a number
of courses that are already in that program and they
just do a couple of courses in OER and that’s the certificate. So my, from my perspective
like OER becomes stronger the more it’s sort of
embedded in other systems that already exist in an institution. – [Matthew] Absolutely. So Quill I will ask you directly I mean when do you think faculty
stipends will become no longer necessary or do
you think that they should stick around? – So I have a, I’m very
conflicted on this issue so I’ll be honest because I think, I think the faculty stipends don’t cover the amount of effort and
work the faculty put into designing OER or even into adopting OER into existing classes. I just don’t think that they cover enough. On the other hand, they
are a very useful tool for the institution recognizing that this is a special effort and I’m a big fan of noticing special effort. So I think this plays
into embedding OER into existing structures. For example, and it goes
into, there’s a couple of ways I talk about it. So for part of it is how
does OER play into tenure and promotion and can that be one of the kind of sweeteners to encourage
people to think about OER? How do we think about
part-time faculty who have or are using OER in our current classes and the longevity of their employment? How can we ensure that
the people who commit to lower cost per students
and commit to better learning experiences for students
assuming we can prove that, how do we commit to those
people always getting the classes that we have committed to them so they don’t get bumped? Those kinds of institutional
practices are things that we can shift to help make
the stipend less necessary. So I think that that’s one of the things that we should be talking
about at our institutions and I think it’s an institutional question around how do our policies support OER that makes it possible
for us to kind of rethink the purpose of a stipend and I think I’m not sure
that I know the full answer to that. I don’t, I still find
stipends incredibly useful as a tool. The other thing I wanted to
say about stipends though is that they can be
detrimental in other cases. So for example, full time
faculty at our institution have an opportunity to take, to request sabbaticals to work
on specific special projects and if I’m setting a stipend
amount at a dollar amount that’s way less than a
faculty release time, then when they ask for
sabbaticals to do OER, we have to turn them down
because we have a stipend in place that makes it
like well we can pay you the stipend instead which
means that it disincentives some faculty who believe
that they need more time and they would like a full, to create OER. – [Matthew] That is, that
is, I think that that is very interesting, the idea
that you have almost competing incentives and trying to balance those and we’ve had ongoing
discussions for years actually at Maricopa about what is the
appropriate amount of money or the appropriate amount of
release time to give somebody to create or remix OER and
we’ve kind of eventually kind of come to a set of
policies that we haven’t really made official across the
district but we’ve kind of implemented that at least at
Scottsdale Community College for reassigned time to
differentiate between work loads. So like if it’s just
maintaining a template course versus building a new course
but using, remixing OER that already exists or
if it’s just authoring from scratch you know. So we kind of have those tiers but I wanted to kind of
just bring together a few different threads here
because we were talking about the financial aspect and I
think it’s clear based on this discussion that
infrastructure and financial sustainability obviously
there’s a lot of overlap and one of the other
questions that came up in the chat window earlier had to do with is there a way to demonstrate
the return on investment right because we want to
be able to show, I think, that there is, it’s
worthwhile to invest in faculty development or
invest in the development of the OER and it’s, when you have that prepared, that you can
actually make the case easily, when you have that documentation prepared, you can really demonstrate
that return on investment. So if there is somebody who
is skeptical of a stipend or skeptical of the benefit
of having that funding available then you can
try to make the case and I think that has a
lot to do with kind of the other idea of strategic planning. And I believe actually the
next slide specifically addresses another connection
that I think is important to note so there was
another question in the chat a few minutes ago. (mumbles) Yeah? – Do you mind, if I
just, can I just address that previous question
that you highlighted? – [Matthew] Yes, please do. – On return on investment. So I put an article in
there from in the chat from the EPAA which is an article by David
Wiley and some others on the Tidewater Program
and they propose a model for return on investment. They call it the Intro Model. Basically it says that
there’s evidence to suggest that when students take an OER course, they actually take, they have
a higher enrollment intensity during the term in which
they take OER courses so that means that there are
additional tuition dollars that actually come back
to the college/university and similarly because
students drop at lower rates typically with OER courses. The lower withdraw rates
actually also increases tuition dollars and so
the argument is that actually this increased
tuition revenue from having an OER project pays for any
loss of revenue you’d see from the bookstore or anything else and then the other thing I just point to is I also shared a little
a Lumen Learning analytics of David basically took
the research that he did and like built it into a
cool handy little web tool where you can enter in
different parameters and it returns like a result so it tells you sort of how
much more money you might expect to get from an OER
program and how much you would be saving students and kind
of all these really cool like financial metrics
that come out at the end. So play with that and I
would really encourage people to think along those lines
when talking to their, to administrators. Yeah. – [Matthew] Well thank you very much. I think that that is a great tool and it really does give us a way, trying to make it easy to tell the story is always a challenge and if you want people to do something, you want to try to make it
easy so when there is a tool like that available for
people like me who have studied literature and
aren’t necessarily good at crunching the numbers, I think
that that’s very helpful, I think. So thank you for that. And Nathan, I did want
to actually ask you this but definitely Quill I want
to hear from you as well, so going back to the connections between a general strategic plan and the idea that any change in leadership or a change in not necessarily OER leadership right because Nathan you’re an OER coordinator. Obviously you’re not gonna do it forever. I know that my job as the
OER coordinator is limited to two to three years so that
there is the some consistency. There’s time to develop a project but at the same time, there is, at some point the
baton’s gonna be passed on to somebody else. So how is it Nathan, that
you are looking ahead in terms of succession basically? – So the first thing we’re gonna do is try to, we are going
through a strategic planning process right now so we’re trying to get OER
into the strategic plan and the ways I’m thinking
about that right now is trying to not make OER
kind of a primary pillar of the strategic plan
but actually to embed it into student success and institutional efficiency
and lowering barriers and costs to students. So there may be other headings
that sort of the OER projects fit into and what’s nice about that and this kind of goes to
sustainability and succession issue is that once you have items
in your strategic plan, often your budgeting
process is gonna be aligned with the strategic planning process, or at least hopefully
that’s something like that is going on at your institution so if you have OER embedded in that way, then you’re gonna see
dollars come through. As far as people are concerned, I think it’s a huge issue. I mean I think in academia,
everybody is has had the experience of losing a
champion at the vice president or dean level or something like that and then getting someone else in place that may not share the objectives
that you had previously. I think it’s a major issue so I think the important, the thing that I’m doing
is trying build like as broad a team of people as I can that are all knowledgeable about OER. So I’m trying to get a group of faculty, a whole set of deans, people from student services, all sorts of peoples. We have a pretty broad
cross-disciplinary team that’s part of a OER steering committee and then like at Open Ed week last week, sorry Open Ed Conference last week, we brought I think nine
people to the conference. So when faculty go to that conference or go to a big conference like that, they get energized and informed and they become the kind
of champions on campus that you need. So my hope is that we
get a broad team that’s engaged in this and I definitely have, I don’t have the limit
on my term on my position like you do, Matthew, but
I definitely have in mind that a sort of sunset
where I’m gonna walk away and so and I think it’s
really helpful to do that because you don’t want to
be the only OER go to person ’cause that puts you in a bad spot, it puts the institution in a bad spot. You want to have, you want
that to be a successive sort of position that
other people could take on. Yeah so and then also you
know if you create policies and documentations that
make it all really clear, the next person that comes
onboard, they’re gonna have that in place so that I think is
really another piece of this. – [Matthew] Excellent and
Quill, what are your thoughts about leadership succession? – I think Nathan said it all pretty well. I think for us, one of the
things that kind of thinking about leadership and succession
and the also really helps is if we can institutionalize
some of that leadership in ways like for example, our steering committee is
now an official committee at our institution. It was a big process to go through but that means that it’s always staffed and there’s specific
people and there’s like, I always have to have a
member of the union on that, on the steering committee
and they select who that member is. So it becomes part of a
task that another group is responsible for that kind of builds in some
capacity for a complete team. Always, you know the
student government is always nominating somebody and our
student leadership changes all the time. So part of the way I think
about leadership succession is thinking in terms of those
students who leave regularly and how did they maintain their advocacy because we may have, they
usually are in a leadership position for a year
before they’re moving to another institution. So how did they talk to each other and how I can get their
voice to like continue and trickle throughout the
generations of students? And I just can’t stress the importance of, sometimes I get so caught
up in doing the work that I forget to document
why we’re doing the work and the kind of successes of the work. – [Matthew] Absolutely. – (mumbles) ’cause it’s
so easy to get caught up in just doing the work and so
I can’t stress how important it is to really continue to
document why we’re making the decisions we’re making because like Nathan, I don’t
want to be the only person at my institution who
understands all the OER at our institution and
I would like it to be a community process where
there’s lots of people involved in making decisions. – [Matthew] And I think that this, thank both of you for these
I think very wise comments about leadership succession and I know that in my
situation it’s been clear from the beginning when I took the role as the OER Coordinator,
that it wasn’t gonna be and I’m kind of glad. I mean I don’t necessarily,
I’m not sure that it would be, that I would like to
stop teaching forever. So it’s kind of nice that I
knew that there was gonna be this sunset to that, my
participation in that role but it’s also given me the opportunity to immediately start thinking
about who is on the bench. I noticed somebody in the
chat went kind of brought up the metaphor of having a deep bench and it’s totally true and Nathan when you
said bringing a team to the Open Education Conference and really exposing them,
having, giving people who are maybe a little bit newer
to OER and Open Education and giving them the opportunity to network and to really get inspired
by some of the brilliance that’s in this community, I think is what it can
be extremely meaningful ’cause I had a similar
experience last week. We brought a couple people from our team who had never gone to the
Open Education Conference before and they, we’ll see what happens but it seemed to be
somewhat transformative in terms of inspiring
them to want to be even more involved and having
a team is super important. Maricopa is a district with 10 colleges and so one of my tasks as the coordinator is to kind of get people
to work together as much as possible and it’s
absolutely vital to have as many representatives
from each of those colleges as possible. So if you have multiple campuses, or if you have departments
and divisions that are somewhat isolated or
siloed from each other, then it’s really crucial
to kind of get in there and find out where the excitement is or where the OER usage is so that you know who your people are that
you can kind of tap into when you are thinking about moving on and it’s not my intention to
just talk all about myself because I want to move
on to another question but I also want to add one
thing about the succession. The way that our OER
Coordinator assignment, it’s, Nathan it’s like yours. It’s full reassigned time for faculty but the way that it works for
us is that there’s gonna be a one semester overlap
so the sixth semester that I am in my final
semester as OER Coordinator, whoever it is that’s going
to take over after me is going to be working
with me that semester so that we can kind of insure consistency and that way it’s not like
I just dropped the baton and let someone pick it up and move on. That way there’s kind of the sense that yeah somebody new’s coming on. They might have their
own kind of unique vision for what the future looks like but they’re still gonna be that
sense of consistency there. – That’s a great idea. I’m taking that one down and bringing it back to my team. – [Matthew] Right on, okay. Well so the next question, I
don’t know maybe a question came up in the chat here. Yes and so Quill said
the recognizing efforts, I want to note that
one of the third topic, we’re still in the second topic. This is pretty weighty I guess but the third topic has to do with culture and the question that we’re
gonna address a little bit later in this discussion,
just a few minutes actually is directly related to
how we tell our story, how we celebrate our achievements
and those kinds of things and I think that it’ll be
important to keep that in mind as well ’cause there’s
a lot of overlap here. I did want to bring up a kind
of a potentially difficult point that some people might,
it’s always challenging technology, we love it and we rely on it and then things change
and technology invariably breaks at some point so I’m just curious to know
maybe Quill if you want to start out first on this one, but so how have decisions
about technology use contributed to or detracted
from the sustainability of OER at your institution? – I could write you a book
if you want on this topic. – [Matthew] Well we’ll
just go with a short set of answers. I’m just kidding. (laughs) – Oh no, that’s all right. Because I’m challenged by this one. It, for financial
sustainability and kind of that, honestly technology and
purchasing technology or investing in platforms is a very time-consuming and expensive process in any public institution in my state. So to that end, we’ve
made a series of decisions to use the things that are most easy like our running management
system and in the agreement we have with Lumen Learning which is great in terms of ease of access
and getting resources to students and adopting
OER as quickly as we can. However I kind of regret
some of those decisions not to go through the
difficult process earlier because we were kind of flowing like water and every rock we ran
into technology-wise, we just float around it but using like, finding an existing tool
that made it easy for us to make it options fast. The problem with that is long-term, our learning management
system hosts most of our OER and that is not sharing with the commons. It is not accessible to
students when they’re not in our classes anymore. It is not accessible to students who or to people outside of our institution without a lot of back channel discussion. It makes it hard for
faculty who are teaching at multiple institutions
to move things around. So I am thinking sustainability-wise
it was a good decision at the time in terms
of we can afford this, let’s move forward and it got us through most adoptions fastest. However now thinking of
long-term viability and strength of our OER movement, I
really wish that we had invested some more in technology. So we’re looking at that
again as an institution. – [Matthew] That’s excellent. So we’ve got, there’s somebody
that’s got your mic on. It might, it would be great
if you could mute that because I hear some typing but so, but I just
wanted to touch on that. It’s exactly the same thing
that Maricopa’s going through and Nathan I think that you
have some thoughts about this as well. We are dealing with the same situation. We developed a bunch of
courses over the course of five years and most of
those courses are in Canvas because that was what
was most convenient for our faculty. It was our learning management system. It’s easy for people to use. It was a good way for us to build kind of a base of people
using OER at the institution but then Quill, like you
said, it’s not necessarily sharing with the commons. It’s not necessarily releasing
that r in the care framework which I think is a
really big focus for us. As we move forward, we’re
trying to think of ways to use the care framework
to evaluate our interactions with OER as much as we’re
using it to evaluate what the vendors may be
doing who are coming to us and that’s one of the
challenges that we have moving forward is it’s kind
of balancing what’s best for our institution or
what’s best for our faculty with what is actually
gonna be contributing to the global Open Education movement and so Nathan, what are
your thoughts about this? – Yeah so I just shared the
link to the care framework for those who are unfamiliar with it. It’s a really useful, sort of framework for
understanding how to be a good OER steward. How to best serve the
community, the commons, the general production of knowledge. So we are definitely, I
think in many ways we’re very similar to what Quill
was saying like we wanted to get started, we wanted
to get started quickly so we had a partnership
with Lumen Learning. I think there’s a lot
of options out there. I know Top Hat does
institutional partnerships and other, and there are other things. These are, I want to say
that they’re very useful for at least two reasons. One is you’re gonna have faculty, if you want to make
OER a part of education at your institution, you’re gonna have faculty who are, who need the sort of wrap
around support in a course ware platform where everything’s
sort of put together for them and developing that on
your own is probably not worth the effort. I’m not sure. The, if people need that stuff, I think it’s probably
best to use a third party for that. But then it costs money and
then you’ve gotta figure out well how are you gonna pay for that? Are you gonna make the students pay for it which may be okay, I mean
just open doesn’t mean free or are you gonna create
institutional structures to pay for it. That’s a difficult choice. We are doing some stuff through the LMS. One of the good things because
we are a Canvas institution, we do have the capacity
to share those resources through the Canvas Commons
which is a limited sharing. We have a course certification process that faculty can go through
so they get their course reviewed, we make sure
it vets on all property, sorry copyright issues
and then we give it a creative commons license and share it into the Canvas Commons. The next step that we really
want to think about doing is getting cartridges and
putting them on the open web so I’m working with the
librarian who’s kind of got a little bit of a repository
for us for that. We looked into actually
getting a, like purchasing a repository that would help us
host a bunch of OER materials and I mean it’s, you
can find some that are reasonably priced but even a
reasonably priced repository, you’re talking a few 10s
of thousands of dollars to get, for an annual subscription and that’s another cost that
you’re gonna have to bear. So yeah I think, those are the
main things that I would say as far as technology is concerned. I mean, one other thing that
we do have which is really cool we use a Caturra web
video hosting platform. We call it EdgeYouTube and it has a nice, it’s on the open web so
anybody can access it and it also has licensing embedded so you can create and
commons license your own instructional videos
and that’s super nice. I think the thing that we’re missing and I, just gonna be I
think it’s just gonna be a labor of practice that we get through is gonna be getting that
stuff and putting it on OER commons or some other, or sharing with the open textbook network or whatever, you got that
next step to get it on to another more public platform
that gives other people access to it. I think that’s also important. – [Matthew] And Nathan I
think one of the things that you just brought up
which is super important too is and this fits into the
whole discussion basically but having a process by which the material that you’re producing
actually is kind of vetted and certified, it’s something
that we’re working on here because we had been funding courses and primarily trying to get
faculty to adopt those courses themselves and then maybe
have some kind of impact in their department or across the college or between colleges and we’ve
seen some of that impact but we want to be able
to go back through now and really insure that we’re
actually taking a four pronged approach moving forward
and I’m sure that you have something along these lines embedded but in your review process
but we’re looking at the four different categories
for the content review are accessibility, instructional design, licensing and content quality. So we want to get like content experts and accessibility experts and whatnot and try to hit it from
all four of those angles and once we actually
have that review process in place, we’re gonna
cautify it and produce that documentation so
that hopefully it will be sustained into the future
in something that we can continue to work on. Okay well this is good. We’re getting close to the end here but we still have a whole
other topic to talk about but I think there’s only
one question in that topic. Infrastructure is so
important, I mean you can’t sustain anything without that right? So keep in mind that I am
doing my best to try to keep here, see I think Canvas is the most shared, sharey LMS. Okay, yeah. So this is a great
question from Amy Hopefort. Quill, do you want to
answer that directly? Asking why it is that
Canvas doesn’t really meet those needs? – Yeah I’m gonna use her metaphor. I was just typing up an answer here. Yeah so Canvas is the
most sharey of the LMS’s but a secret garden is
still a secret garden and so if people don’t know it’s there or have to go through multiple, if I’m not at a Canvas institution, and I want to access the Canvas Commons, I have to know that I can use
a Canvas for Teacher account, I have to know how to find it and I have to know then
how to search the Commons once I’m there which isn’t
always the easiest thing in the world. So it’s not exactly the most, it’s more, it’s easier to share on
Canvas than it is on a lot of other LMS’s but it’s
still, like you have to know the secret key. You have to be in the right
place when the wind blows and looking, has anybody
seen The Secret Garden, that movie where she is
looking and the wind’s blowing? Anyway you have to be in
the right place to use the Canvas Commons effectively and then the other reason
is really the students do not have access to Canvas Commons. They don’t know what it is, they don’t know how to use it and when they’re done with my class, if it’s a creative common,
if it’s a class that I intend to share with them over time, they don’t really have
that access ’cause our LMS cuts them off at a certain point because they’re no longer our student. So then they don’t have access
to those materials later, that means they can’t use the fifth r. – [Matthew] Thank you. Thank you very much Quill. I think that that
definitely does a good job of explaining some of
the problematic aspects of using any learning management system but even Canvas and I agree, Canvas, we shared all of
our stuff on Canvas Commons. We have, it’s mmoer is the
tag, Maricopa Millions OER and you’ll find like 17
different courses on there that we’ve developed and but yeah, it’s not, we have to, if you’re an OER practitioner as individual faculty, you kind of have to
encourage your students to download the content
so that they can retain it because it will be difficult
for them to access it in the future and like you said, you have to know that it’s there, you have to know where to look
and to create a free account and everything so it’s not ideal but it is, it’s working at
least a little bit for now. So one other thing, we’ll move on. If there are any other questions, feel free to put them on
there and I will do my best to try to respond to those but I want to address our third
topic before we’re done here and the third topic is about
the cultural sustainability of OER and I know that
we could talk about this forever but we’ve already
addressed a lot of these things and I was hoping that maybe Quill if you wanted to or Nathan, talk about just really briefly, how do you measure and
communicate program impact in support sustainability? Now I know this is a huge question and you could probably,
we could probably spend an entire webinar just talking about this but just very briefly, what do you think are one or two extremely
important things to consider when talking about sustaining the culture that’s necessary to support OER? Let’s say Quill if you want to go first. – Okay sure. So I think first it’s really important to make connections with an
institutional research team and the reason for that is
because they can help me think of ways to measure
the impact of the program. So I sometimes have
questions I want to ask, like what is the student success rate and what’s their successive
pass rate in next classes after they take an OER course and those are really good questions to ask but sometimes I need people who are there who can say this is the
appropriate way to ask this question. So lean on my institutional
research team a lot and they have this tendency
to say let the data tell the story. So we look for data and then
find the story that it tells and then I share that story. And I share it in a variety of ways, sometimes it’s in
conference presentations, sometimes it’s in webinars like these, sometimes it’s just in a quick
email to my institutional leadership that says hey
this cool thing happened. So I think that can be really useful. Sometimes I will, this has
been something we’ve been doing recently and it’s
part of our ATB work. As an institution, we try
to give all of our faculty all the data at all
times so they can always be examining their own experiences. So I have been doing small
workshops with faculty where we show up with data
from their own classes and ask them to measure
and discuss with each other what they’re doing with
OER that may or may not be moving a meal in terms of
closing the achievement gap and it’s a really fun workshop. It’s really hard because it
makes people find out things about their day that they don’t like but it’s really good for
building this culture of inquiry as an institution. – [Matthew] Excellent and
weaving that into the message or the narrative that
you’re going to then present in order to demonstrate
the return on investment and demonstrate the work that you’re doing for your community. Nathan I was curious to
know in the short time we have left, what would you
say would be the number one tip that you have to share with everyone about communicating? How do you communicate that impact and to whom are you communicating it? – I wish I knew. (laughs) No, I think you’ve gotta have
a multi-pronged approach. I mean I think one form of communication does not work. There’s not one form of communication. Communication is a process. So I love Quill’s idea
of thinking about data as telling a story and
then also thinking about personalizing that approach to data. I think that’s huge. I would also so we’ve
done a couple things. So we have a public facing website, we’ve developed an internal facing website just for faculty. I can post news items
to our news bulletin. I have a huge communication list, like I set up a database
of basically everybody who comes to a workshop or seminar or anything that I interact with, I put them on a spreadsheet
and I have their campus location, their contact
information, and the discipline they teach in and so
anytime I’m getting stuff, I shoot out blast emails
to specific groups. Like if I’m going to do
a workshop at a campus, I’ll send everyone an
email a week in advance and say I’m coming to your
campus for this thing, make sure you’re there if you want to learn more and then, but I think culture shift is a, is just is a much deeper thing and I think it comes
back to making it fun, celebrating success, understanding that this
aligns with our mission and values and building
that team of people who can be champions
and hopefully over time, you get to a place where
you become like a vibrant OER institution. Right now HCC, I, we
have some great champions but we’re not there. Like most of my time I think
is trying to figure out where the blockages are. We have I think people, mainly people and like sort of middle and
senior, middle to senior leadership who are sort of
discretely behind the scenes kind of pushing back on this and I think it’s a, sort
of this detective work and also sort of persuasive
work of just kind of trying to figure out
where those problems are and address them and try
to slowly sort of try to move it but that’s really,
that’s kind of where we are right now. – [Matthew] That’s excellent. So the brief answer I
think to the question of like how do you best communicate and to whom and I think that
your answer basically was like all the communication. We want all the communication
to everyone all the time. Yeah and it’s true. I mean and I saw in the chat, somebody mentioned board of trustees and knowing where the power is and being able to communicate with them and I’ll just say that
Maricopa Millions in the fall, I’m sorry last spring
which was the end of the initial five year run of Maricopa Millions and the beginning of our transition, they had a huge, they hosted a huge event and we had the chancellor
and we had the provost and we had the governing
board, at least one member of the governing board there and it was an opportunity
to really publicly in a big way unveil the student savings and celebrate it and we gave out gifts,
these little power banks that you can charge your cell phones and they say OER hero,
charging into the future with OER so they’re just
like a little, kind of a token gift that is actually
somewhat meaningful and it really made people
feel like they had been part of meaningful work and
I think that that celebration is vital and then touching
on what Quill said as well, it’s sometimes hard to take, to find the time because
you’re so busy doing the work that finding the time to
write up a narrative about it is like seems like it’s seems like just an additional layer of task, but it is very vital to tell the story. So this is great. We’re pretty much at the end right here and I need to just basically tell you that at this point, hold
on, what’s going on here? Oh now I’m at. Editing my slide, okay. That didn’t work. We could just go to get involved to see what’s happening. We have our community email. If you’re not part of that,
then absolutely get on there because tons of resources
are shared on there on a regular basis and it is a really great resource. Our next webinar is coming up November 14. It’s going to be on transforming learning with open educational
practices and pedagogy which is super interesting
if you aren’t real familiar with it. Dr. Michael Mills,
Professor Shinta Hernandez from Montgomery College will be speaking as well as Dr. Karen
Cangialosi, Professor of Biology at Keene State College and so register for that and
keep that on your calendar. And that’s it. If you have any questions,
we have one minute to answer them. Let’s see, I don’t know. I would just say thank
you very much everyone for joining us and for
listening to us talk and please have a wonderful day.

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