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Wednesday, October 20 • 5:45pm - 5:55pm
Faculty Adoption of OER through Compatibility and Relative Advantage Training

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The research around Open Educational Resources (OER) largely focuses on cost benefits to students and perceptions of OER. This research has laid a foundational level of demonstrating that OER is a viable alternative to traditional textbooks. However, even though 91% of faculty members in one multi-institutional study reported that they are interested in using OER, only 5% actually do (Bodily & Belikov, 2016). Several studies illuminate the barriers faculty face in moving toward OER, including lack of or mistaken awareness of what OER is, difficulty finding OER, difficulty in finding time to search, and insufficient institutional support. How do we overcome these barriers through faculty training? From the perspective of Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation (2003), the main factors in tipping the scale from favorable impression to actual adoption depend on two factors: relative advantage and compatibility. Relative advantage, in this case, is the fact that if faculty do not understand what OER is or the wide range of benefits associated with OER, why would they leave the 91% group of traditional textbook adopters? In terms of compatibility, if they understand the relative advantage, but do not have the means or support to use OER, favorable perceptions are less likely to translate to adoption. While researchers have studied faculty training programs in the K12 sector, a gap in the literature exists for interventions in higher education that take both aspects into account and move beyond discussing the financial benefit of OER. For this reason, training for higher education faculty must address both relative advantage and compatibility. What will this training look like? In order to provide training on a broader scope of advantages and compatibilities, including but not limited to cost-savings, we will use the COUP framework which is a measurement model that has been used in multiple studies to measure the impact of OER according to four parameters: cost, outcomes, use, and perceptions. We will use the COUP framework to backward-design our training around these four areas to encourage wider impact. In each section of this presentation of our research plan, we will also provide information about compatibility resources and training to demonstrate how our faculty will have a practical way to move forward with OER adoption in their individual contexts.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Understand how to move beyond discussing cost as a traditional main OER selling point to a broader view of relative advantages
  • Outline an effective training based on the COUP Framework that addresses how to make OER adoption compatible or practical for their faculty members
  • Communicate what OER can do for their campus in terms of reaching beyond traditional materials in order to address equity, inclusion, and diversity across campus programs

avatar for Stephanie Robertson

Stephanie Robertson

Outreach Librarian, BYU-Hawaii JFS Library
Stephanie Robertson is an Outreach Librarian and Assistant Professor at BYU–Hawaii. She is also an OER Fellow and wishes to thank them for the funding that made it possible to attend this conference. Her MA is in English with an emphasis in Composition & Rhetoric and her MLISc is... Read More →

Emily Bradshaw

I have been teaching in the English Department at BYUH as an adjunct instructor for the past 15 years.  I started working with the Center for Learning and Teaching to improve classroom engagement at the university three years ago, and that work inspired me to go back for a master's... Read More →

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Wednesday October 20, 2021 5:45pm - 5:55pm EDT
Room F