UM Writing Centers OER Institute


This section is under construction and is not finalized.

The UM Oxford Writing Center hosted an open educational resources institute in January 2022 for graduate students. This program offered participating graduate students with experience or interest in writing center consultation and/or writing instruction the opportunity to learn how to develop, design, and publish open educational resources. Participants attended brief, daily professional development sessions where they learned principles of open access content development, document design, electronic document accessibility, creative commons licensing, and web publication.

Participants worked in groups to develop writing instructional topics, design learning resources, workshop their ideas, and carry their compositions through to publication. The culmination of the program was the production of a series of new open access educational resources published on the UMWC website and credited to the individual author or teams of authors.

This section of the Teaching Hub is for OER Project Mangement documentation and resources, as well as archiving and indexing of non-course-affiliated OER content.

Managing an OER Project

The main challenge faced by faculty members (and other knowledge workers) in creating and sustaining an OER or a collection of OERs comes from the lack of long-term project modeling. Unlike commercial publishers, who have the workflows, experience, and funding to maintain multiple publication projects, most people who are interested in working on OER projects are not in the publishing industry: they’re teachers, writing center tutors, undergraduate students, and even community members. That’s why it is especially important for OER project leaders to build a sustainable model with simple, long-term infrastructure and a plan for maintaining the project once the initial group of developers have moved on.

OER Production Framework

The following OER production framework, based on an instructional design framework, depicts the major steps that OER adoptions typically go through:

ISU OER Production Franework (see hyperlink below)

Research Phase

At this step, you should ask yourself a few key questions to gauge your OER knowledge and skills before taking on a project. Have you explored OER content in your subject area? Have you been through any previous training for work with OER in the past? Contact support staff on campus to receive any training you might be lacking for working with open content.

Pre-production phase

This phase involves the curation of existing resources that may be applicable to the OER adoption and planning out the general design of the project. No new content should be adapted in this step, but a skeleton outline and other time-and-task-based project management documents should be prepared. Getting an OER consultation scheduled at this time is encouraged.

Design phase

This step is the last planning phase before work on the actual OER content begins. For projects adapting OER as-is, this may be the final step apart from preparing instructional documents. During this phase, project outlines and skeleton documents are fleshed out, and existing OER are fit into places where they are believed to be applicable. Any visual/graphic design work and processes that require assistance from an instructional designer are included here.

Development phase

This phase is where the most time is spent on OER projects that require building new materials. Existing OER that are being adapted or modified go through revision and review in a closed loop until they are in a place where they require only minor changes or copyedits. Checks for intellectual property (which CC license is on the content, and have we appropriately attributed everything?) are done, as well as checks for accessibility (is content formatted semantically, do images include alt-text, etc)?

Content here is typically drafted in Google Docs or another rich content editor (Word, OpenOffice) and are then ported into the publishing platform (the ISU Digital Press recommends Pressbooks for text-based content).

Publication phase

The final phase involves publishing and sharing the content that has been created. This includes creating export versions, archiving editable files for instructors who might wish to edit your work (.doc, .xml, etc), and depositing any ancillary materials such as syllabi or lesson plans in the institutional Digital Repository. The new adapted or original OER content is then disseminated to learners and shared with the open community.