Creating and Managing an OCW Team

Key Points

  • Organize and staff OpenCourseWare according to the scope of the effort. Most functions may already exist at your institution – leverage them when possible. How you organize will be institution-specific.
  • Make the organization “faculty-centric.” A key success factor is to make it easy and worthwhile for faculty to participate.

Staffing for the various OpenCourseWare functions will depend on the scope of the OpenCourseWare effort and the availability of services on campus. In some environments, more than one function might be combined into a single position. For a large implementation, multiple staff might be needed for just one function. Institutions may choose to outsource some functions. The principal functions involved in running an OpenCourseWare are listed below.

  • Executive leadership and overall program management. Manage relationships with sponsors, funding organizations, other internal and external stakeholder groups, strategic direction and goal setting, overall organization, and program leadership and management.
  • Faculty relationship management. Enlisting new faculty and managing ongoing relationships with faculty who are providing content to OpenCourseWare.
  • Content production and publication. Plan, build, publish, and support maintenance of the courses.
  • Intellectual property and licensing. Define intellectual property (IP) and end-user licensing strategy and processes, evaluate content for IP issues.
  • Information Technology. Design, build and operate all technical infrastructure and resources required to meet the program goals.
  • Communications and outreach. Create awareness among target audiences and other user groups. Undertake press and other internal and external communication-related activities.
  • Evaluation and Assessment. Measure and evaluate program performance against goals and external benchmarks.

Finding a global audience

Professor Charles Stewart III, MIT Department of Political Science

Professor Charles Stewart III, head of the Department of Political Science in MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, is a specialist in the fields of American politics and behavior, political institutions, and research methodology. Stewart, who has long been a proponent both of using technology as a teaching aid, and also of free and open access to ideas, was an early fan of the OpenCourseWare (OCW) concept. And now that the concept has become a reality, he has become a strong advocate for the site.