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Running the Play

Running the Play

A project plan is an essential tool to orchestrate and keep track of all the moving pieces in your OER initiative, especially working with the faculty members who are central to your success. A good project plan can help you stay organized and focused on what needs to happen both near-term and longer term to help your faculty members feel well-supported and successful.

Project Plan Components

Create a project plan that supports the goals of your initiative over a given time frame (e.g. the term of a grant, an academic year, a strategic planning phase, etc.). To align with the academic calendar, consider designing a term-by-term rollout plan. This will help you keep track of the preparation, training, coaching, and milestones you need to put in place to ensure you’re meeting your targets.

You can download and adapt this sample project plan to fit the goals and time frame of your OER initiative.

Suggested Milestones

Build your project plan around that will help both your initiative and individual faculty members stay on track as they prepare to teach OER courses. For each term of your rollout, these milestones might include:

Ideal Timing

(ahead of term start)

6-12 monthsConfirm hand-raisers: Who will participate? How are you getting the word out to generate interest?
6-10 monthsKickoff training/workshop: What process will you use to orient people and get them started?
4-6 monthsCourse commitments: Which courses will be shifting to OER? Which instructors? How many sections?
3-6 monthsCourse materials selected: What course materials will faculty be using? Have they confirmed the materials will meet their needs? Have they confirmed how they will deliver materials to students (e.g. via LMS, platform, etc.)?
2-4 weeksCourse content loaded: When will content be loaded and ready-to-teach in the selected platform?
Classes startCourse start date: When will classes begin?

Tips: Supporting Faculty

  • Change culture: Look for ways to emphasize and drive cultural change around open.
  • Adjust policy: Identify how institutional policy can further support OER adoption, and work with campus administrators to enact OER-friendly policies.
  • Work as a team: Assemble a broad support team to help faculty through the adoption process: librarians, learning technologists, instructional designers, and so forth. Define the roles each member of the team will play, and engage this team in defining your project plan.
  • Choose your timing: Choose timing when faculty and leaders can collaborate and plan together (e.g. not end of May).
  • Plan for a prep term: Structure your project plan to allow for a term of training / working / preparation before expecting faculty to teach a new OER course.
  • Support for all: Make OER course adoption open to all with tools and support. Don’t require people to jump through hoops or wait in line to try out OER.

Tips: Course Planning

  • Early-adopter mentors: Recruit very early adopters to mentor and consult with peers as they’re curating their OER courses. Peer-to-peer sharing and support can make a huge difference.
  • Ready-to-adopt course options: Make complete, ready-to-adopt courses available for easy review and adoption. This can make the initial step towards OER much less intimidating.

Tips: Project Management

Apply these best practices of project management to help your initiative progress smoothly.

  1. Schedule monthly check-ins with faculty and support teams keep everyone focused on goals and aligned with the common plan.  
  2. Use norming to help faculty members understand about where they should be at any point in the process.
  3. Share unique best practices, to encourage cross-pollenization about what works at your campus, with your faculty and culture.
  4. Address common challenges and obstacles that threaten to slow everyone down.
  5. Create a shared sense of progress and success, with opportunities to celebrate individual and collective achievements.