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Tuesday, October 19 • 4:00pm - 4:25pm
Competing for Attention: Reaching Out to Faculty in a Time of COVID-19

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We present a case study of the development of a campus-wide OER initiative at a mid-sized regional comprehensive American university. In a little over a year we moved from largely isolated incidents of individual faculty investigating and using OER to a visible campus-wide program that gives faculty support for finding and integrating OER and open and innovative pedagogies into their courses. The catalyst was a unit competition in which the academic unit that saves students the most through revising courses using OER and other affordable resources wins a prize, in this case $5000 that we funded through a grant from a state-wide library consortium. The competition began in spring 2021 and ended at the beginning of fall 2021 semester. Twenty faculty from six departments submitted courses to revise, ranging in complexity from adopting an open textbook to extensive redesigns of courses that involved the modification of existing OER and the creation of new materials. The competition itself proved an effective way to be noticed during a difficult time for many during the pandemic. But it could not have been successful without the careful groundwork and collaboration between the library and the teaching excellence center as well as timely outreach to the bookstore, student government, and a supportive provost. Key topics to be addressed during this presentation are the importance of collaboration among campus units, leveraging existing structures and programs that can support faculty in the process of finding, using and creating OER, adapting the idea of a unit competition to our campus and using it as a means of outreach to academic departments as much as to individual faculty.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Participants will learn how one institution “connected the dots” of affordable learning/OER efforts on campus through a competition among academic units
  • Participants will be introduced to one model of collaboration among campus units and how existing structures can help build a program
  • Participants will learn how the idea of a unit competition was used strategically to reach out to faculty and academic units and make the program visible

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Andrew Kearns

Librarian, University of South Carolina Upstate
I coordinate the library's outreach to online and distance education courses and head up our affordable learning/OER initiative.

Toni DiMella

Director, USC Upstate

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Tuesday October 19, 2021 4:00pm - 4:25pm EDT
Room B