Step 3. Recruit participants
Once you have finished the outline for the workshop, you can start recruiting participants. The approach you take will differ for the two target groups. We have prepared some advice for you on how to approach lecturers and support specialists. You will also have to think about how many participants you want to attend.
How many participants and which ones
Consider how many participants you would find practical during the workshop. If you want to provide proper assistance to everyone and give feedback on all assignments, this will take time. In that case, it is probably better to give the workshop to a smaller group and then repeat it a number of times.
We also recommend limiting the number of support specialists attending each workshop to one-third of all participants. If you have more enrolments from the support specialists, consider which of them you would like to participate in the first workshop, and invite the others for a subsequent workshop. Who you involve depends on the situation at your institution. If your institution does not yet have a policy on open educational resources (OER), it is probably also wise to invite one or two policymakers to take part in the first workshop.
Recruit lecturers in the same way you would for your standard lecturer professional development offerings. If you like, you can gain inspiration from the sample texts that we provide below. Again, our advice is to adapt them to the right style and tone for your own institution.
These recruitment texts deliberately do not focus on OER, but on all learning materials. This is because 'open' is not a goal in itself and it is more effective to respond to the challenges faced by lecturers (or teams of lecturers), which can be solved using OER.
Also think about the channels you use to reach out to lecturers: newsletters, website, course calendar, intranet, narrowcasting, etc. Involve the internal communication department and internal training officer. Follow the usual ways of promoting professional development workshops within the institution.
Sample recruitment texts
Prepare a plan to promote your workshop to lecturers. Do this in the same way and through the same channels that are customary within your institution. When preparing your texts, take some inspiration from the samples provided.
Recruiting support specialists
Unlike lecturers, support specialists will not need to be involved in redesigning lessons and will generally not be the intended target group for lecturer professional development activities. You will therefore need to take a different tack with the support specialists. What works well is to engage them in a discussion about OER. You can invite them to take part in the workshop so that they understand what issues OER raise and what value they can add to the process.
You have already identified this target group in step 1. In this step, add the actual names of people who fit into this target group. They will see how lecturers go about designing or redesigning their teaching, what barriers they perceive, what role OER might play in this, and what support specialists can do to ease the burden on lecturers.
- Make a list of people who work in support of lecturers.
- Talk to the intended participants and invite them to attend the workshop.