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Scaling up a Successful Campus-based Initiative for a Large, Diverse, and State System

60 minutes
Oral Presentation

Minnesota State, a public system of seven universities and 30 colleges serving nearly 400,000 students, has partnered with the Open Textbook Network (OTN) since 2014 to prepare and introduce nearly 300 faculty to OTN and the need, purpose, and possibilities of OER use in the classroom. Many of these faculty have gone on to peer review one or more texts housed in the Open Textbook Library. While there is still need for these basics, there is also growing interest in aiding faculty to move beyond reviewing existing OERs to adopting, redesigning courses, and even authoring their own open texts. To encourage faculty to adopt and embrace OERs in classroom instruction and design, to consider authoring texts, and to think more broadly about engaging in open education practices, the Minnesota State system has begun to coordinate and expand faculty development efforts and supports. One of these initiatives is the scaling up of the successful campus-based OER Learning Circle that has been used at Central Lakes College in Brainerd Minnesota, as an initiative for Minnesota State's large, diverse, and complex system.

This workshop will introduce the practice of using cross-disciplinary collaborative OER Learning Circles and an online support course room to support faculty in Open Educational Resource (OER) review, adoption, course redesign and the authoring of new materials. The presenters will describe how one learning institution has successfully used this process and how Minnesota State has scaled up this successful campus-based initiative for a large, diverse, and complex system. Time will be included for group interaction and discussion on how participants might initiate an OER Learning Circle process at their institution or higher education or K−12 system. A template for designing a support course room and facilitating the face-to-face online collaborative cross-disciplinary sharing circles will be shared.
1. Participants will leave with ideas on how to initiate a OER Learning Circle Process at their institution and how campus-based initiatives can be scaled to become larger projects. 2. Participants will leave with a simple template on how to organize and facilitate a Learning Circle model at their institutions.
3. Participants will leave with samples of simple organizational templates that faculty that can use in their OER review, redesign, or authoring work.

Topic Area(s): Effective Teaching Practices; Open Education Resources; Social & Collaborative Learning


Karen Pikula holds a doctorate degree from Capella University in Educational Psychology. She is a psychology instructor at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Minnesota, and serves as the OER Coordinator for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Her professional interests include instructional design, faculty development, student-centered learning, open educational resources, and open pedagogy.