Authors: Talea Anderson, Chelsea Leachman
Open educational resources (OER) are gaining traction in higher education and becoming accepted by academics as a viable means for delivering course content. However, these resources can be difficult to find and use, both due to low visibility and confusion about licensing.
This article describes one university’s work with faculty members to identify barriers in their search process when they are looking to adopt OER.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM
A scholarly communication librarian and science librarian partnered to collect faculty and instructor reactions to a particular OER search tool, with the intention of better understanding the difficulties encountered during the search process.
Eight interviews were conducted as participants were asked about their preferences when it comes to locating OER, understanding licensing information, and adopting materials for class.
From these interviews, the librarians identified practical recommendations for instruction/liaison librarians and technical services/systems librarians as they continue working to support faculty and instructors through the OER discovery and selection process.
These recommendations relate to four themes uncovered in interviews with faculty and instructors: the need for increased transparency in search tools, the importance of intuitive narrowing and broadening features in search tools, the need for detailed and consistent metadata in OER records, and the need for clarity in intellectual property statements.
The librarians note that these recommendations might best be pursued through wide-scale collaboration across library units and, more generally, between libraries, consortia, and institutions.