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Open Educational Resources Advocacy Toolkit

What is Targeting Your OER Advocacy?

Targeting your advocacy toward project goals will help you clearly message what you want to achieve with your advocacy.

The clearer and more focused your message is, the easier it is for people to engage with your activities.

At early stages your advocacy goal might be to generate interest and develop a project with more specific goals. It might help to define the problem, present solutions and have some suggestions for goals or objectives that will help target advocacy for OER at your institution.

Identifying Goals and Objectives for OER Advocacy

Step 1: Define the Problem

  • What problem(s) are you trying to address by advocating for OER at your institution? – Describe the problem(s) clearly and concisely. Sometimes OER can meet several needs at your institution, so try to include all of the needs that OERs can fill that will interest the various audiences you're targeting.
  • Be clear that OER aren’t a one-size-fits all solution – They can help to address some concerns that the audience faces.
  • Be honest about challenges that will be faced when adopting OER – Also be positive about the benefits of addressing these challenges.
  • Don’t work overly hard to address the challenges in your initial message – Try to consider all of the arguments that people might make against your definition of the problem, because you should be ready to support your argument.

Step 2: Present the Solution

  • Clearly define how OER will meet the problem(s) you have outlined – Draw a map from where you are now, to how OER will change the institution/course/situation for the better.

Step 3: Define Your Goals

  • Be honest with your audience about what you want the outcome to be – Share a clear vision of your goals. For example, 'We're adopting OER in ten of our highest enrolment courses to save students a collective AU$1 million in two years' is much more effective as a message than 'We hope OER will help us to save some money for students'.

Step 4: Choose Your Audience

  • Consider each audience or stakeholder group before you approach people with your message – Best practice is to craft different targeted advocacy messages for each of your stakeholder groups.
  • Consider doing a stakeholder analysis – Try to consider what will help to support your goals and objectives for each group.
  • Consider the best arguments to use for each stakeholder.

Step 5: Ask for What You Want

  • Try to make your call to action simple and specific – Tell your audience what you want them to do. Your audience also needs to see how their involvement and return on investment in your project will benefit your institution.
  • Provide 'actions required now' as well as 'long-term outcomes'.

See the advocacy decision board template in Getting Started with Targeting Your OER Advocacy.

Attributions

Adapted from 'Crafting a Message' by Quill West in Librarians as Open Education Advocates by Rowena McKernan, Tria Skirko, Quill West and Library as Open Education Leader, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.