Last week, I helped lead a workshop for humanities faculty on campus who were looking for ways to document their impact for P&T purposes. While the workshop mostly focused on documenting traditional forms of scholarship (journal articles, books, etc.), I encouraged faculty to consider documenting their teaching impact as well. By openly sharing learning objects – syllabi, assignments, classroom activities – or teaching materials (e.g., textbooks, online tutorials, presentations), faculty can transform teaching in their field. Imagine if there were a peer-reviewed open introductory textbook to writing. Imagine, if it were well done, how much it would be used and shared.
Professional associations and certain publications (like Syllabus) offer means for peer review of learning objects. Open Educational Repositories and institutional repositories (like ScholarWorks! Hint, hint.) offer a way to share your learning objects easily and of documenting their use (via the number of download hits). For more information about OER, check out this research guide created by Amherst librarians. Think about the kinds of teaching materials you might share and contact a librarian at the Center for Digital Scholarship to find out how!