Open Professional Development

I was asked to do some professional development at another college and part of what they are looking to do is use more open educational resources (OER). They would like the sessions to use OER in order to encourage adoption of open educational resources.

It is not an unusual request. I have found a number of professional development planning projects online and tips on encouraging adoption of OER through professional development.

Teachers need help getting through the volume of resources available. Professional development sessions can introduce useful tools that have been vetted and get people started in using them.

As with any technology, faculty have varied comfort levels with it. I'm not a big advocate of bell curves, but it does seem to work with professional development. You need your faculty "champions" to help others see the advantages in the tech. Faculty-to-faculty PD always seems to have a better acceptance rate.

I wouldn't introduce OER into a department or school that didn't already have some culture of professional development. Faculty and administrators (in some cases, students) should be involved. PD should be a regular occurrence and not a once a semester or year "day" full of workshops.

The best professional development doesn't just train people. It also empowers them. People need to hear the success stories from their peers.

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