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Monday, October 18 • 4:00pm - 4:25pm
From OER Learner to Leader: Creating a Professional Development Pathway for Emerging OER Champions

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Emerging OER leaders are uniquely positioned to speak meaningfully to faculty OER creators. While there are many opportunities for professional development within the higher education space, the role of facilitation methods, and the leadership or management skills inherent within, are often overlooked. To better support their professional development, our work has found that leading and facilitating a virtual community of practice is a key skill set that improves OER project outcomes and builds wider capacity in the field. Through increased training around facilitation methods, emerging leaders in open education are better supported to integrate their experiences and make meaningful connections with those just getting started. This session will explore how a professional development facilitator program was created for faculty, librarians, and staff that improved the skill set of emerging OER leaders.

Creating sustainable networks that integrate and support newer members is vital to the overall health and success of the open education movement. Effective communities of practice are spaces wherein participants can problem solve, seek insight from experienced practitioners, and reuse assets that make work more efficient. In addition to being a space where larger developments in the field are discussed, it also serves as a foundation to grow general confidence to participate actively in the space of the discipline. However, communities of practice are not necessarily self-built and self-maintained. Rather, they are built and sustained through a process of intentional scaffolding and relationship-building. Managing these networks and leading with care to ensure that participants are successful, are harder challenges yet.

Facilitation is a means through which a dynamic, engaged community space is created and maintained. In many ways, the people management involved in facilitation is a key skill for leadership positions in OpenEd and beyond. From laying the groundwork for community calls to encouraging the sharing of information and expertise across institutions, there are many subtle and specific tasks that a facilitator must manage. However important facilitation may be in cultivating a community, there is very little information and support available on how to enact those practices effectively.

This session explores how a program was designed to address this gap - including training that bridges faculty and librarian skill sets with the demands of virtual facilitation. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from the experiences of facilitators first-hand as they share the ways in which the program has contributed to their professional growth and leadership in open education.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Identify key skills in OER leaders to support relationship building and sustained engagement
  • Understand the ways in which facilitation skills can bring added value to the open education movement and offer transferable leadership skills
  • Recognize the unique demands of virtual facilitation practices for adult learners
  • Learn about the insight provided by emerging OER leaders to inform the larger open education movement

avatar for Apurva Ashok

Apurva Ashok

Executive Director, The Rebus Foundation, https://twitter.com/RebusCommunity
Apurva leads The Rebus Foundation and brings a tireless determination for systemic change in education at Rebus and through collaborative partnerships. She helps educational institutions build human capacity in OER publishing through professional development offerings such as the... Read More →
avatar for Monica Brown

Monica Brown

Assistant Program Manager, Rebus Community, The Rebus Foundation
I'm a former composition faculty and writing center consultant who is passionate about helping folks share their knowledge and experiences through all genres of writing. I graduated from Boise State University with a Masters of Arts in English. My work in Open Education explores the... Read More →

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Monday October 18, 2021 4:00pm - 4:25pm EDT
Room F