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Open Education Week: Students and OER Advocacy


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When: Thurs, March 5 noon PST/3pm EST

Open Education Resources (OER) remove cost barriers and provide a better learning experience for students who are unable to afford the required commercial textbooks. Student OER advocates directly understand these benefits and can effectively articulate them to their peers as well as to faculty, administrators, and policymakers.

Come and meet two Student OER Advocates who have led the development of an OER Student Toolkit for using at California higher education institutions to share guidelines and best practices for OER advocacy and development. We’ll also hear from the Director of Affordable Textbooks at US Pirgs on concrete next steps for students to take action on their own campuses.

Featured Speakers:

Cailyn Nagle, Affordable Textbooks Campaign Director, US PIRG
Natalie Miller, former OER Student Advocate Lead, The Michelson 20MM Foundation, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, College of the Canyons, 2018 Global OER Consortium Student Award Recipient
Jenifer Vang, Affordable Learning Solutions Student Ambassador, San Jose State University, former OER Student Advocate Lead, The Michelson 20MM Foundation

Published in: Education
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Open Education Week: Students and OER Advocacy

  1. 1. Students and OER Advocacy Why, How-to, What, Who, Act ... Unless otherwise indicated, this presentation is licensed CC-BY 4.0
  2. 2. Cailyn Nagle Affordable Textbooks Campaign Director US PIRG @CailynNagle Jenifer Vang Student Ambassador Affordable Learning $olutions San Jose State University @JeniferVang11 Natalie Miller OER Student Advocate 2018 Open Education Consortium Student Award Cal Poly SLO/ College of the Canyons @natzattackz
  3. 3. Students have been central since the beginning of the open textbook movement!
  4. 4. Student Driven Victories 1. Students were part of early research into open textbooks 2. Students won open textbooks policy victories 3. Students have successfully pushed back on bad deals From 2004 Over $3 million saved from program initiated by student activism in NJ From pushing back against access codes to automatic billing for textbooks, student leaders are often the loudest voice advocating for the best deal on course materials
  5. 5. Why do students get involved?
  6. 6. Avenues for involvement 1. Student Government: Academic affairs committee, office of the internal vice president, affordability working groups 2. Student Groups: Student PIRG Chapter on campus, groups working on other affordability concerns, academic field based advocacy group 3. Library: Internships, volunteer, events
  7. 7. The Goal of my OER Path Goal: How do we get students more involved and aware of OER?
  8. 8. Taking Open to the next level... A statewide initiative was proposed to be made across both CCC and Universities in California. Result = Team of 8 students across different universities collaborating for a toolkit
  9. 9. What is a toolkit? A guide created by students for students; helping to inform and give suggestions on what Open Education Resources are and how to incorporate them onto a campus.
  10. 10. 1 Creating the Toolkit Timeline 2 Creating the Team 3Thinking of the Essentials Our Experiences
  11. 11. When Creating the Team... ● What students are involved in OER? ● How can we communicate? ● What can each student contribute? ● How can each student represent the community? ● What can we reasonably expect out of each student? ● How can each person compliment each other?
  12. 12. Thinking of the Essentials... ● What do we want out of this project? ● What is our goal as a team? As a project? ● What should meetings consist of? ● What are reasonable due dates? ● How else can we benefit those involved? ● How can we get external individuals involved?
  13. 13. The Pros and Cons of Our Experiences
  14. 14. The Pros ● Understanding how to work with individuals in different locations ● Practicing editing and curating skills ● The opportunity to have students fully control a program with advisement ● Getting to work on something bigger than our Universities and Colleges ● Collaborating on each other's programs ● Having a “Safe Space” for students to open up about an issue that may be sensitive around some faculty ● Getting to know other students in OER
  15. 15. The Cons ● Time conflict issues ● Different school schedules (semester and quarter, meaning different testing times) ● Google Docs not being able to handle formatting ● Having to track down individuals who were MIA ● Not having a program like this to exist before/ having to model it ourselves
  16. 16. What does this mean for you? It means a chance for students and other campus members to get involved! Our toolkit helps all levels to gain understanding and get started by making a plan and acting on their campus.
  17. 17. Topics the Toolkit Covers What is OER? How to create an OER How to Market OER OER Activism OER FAQs
  18. 18. Final Toolkit will be released by April 2020 For more release information visit the OER Commons or follow me @natzattackz
  19. 19. Bringing this to your campus 1. What do you want to change? 2. Who has the power to change it? 3. What does that person (or group) need to see in order to make the change?
  20. 20. What do you want to change? Set a goal! Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely
  21. 21. Find your people! Who is it you need to convince? - Department chair - Vice Chancellor - Registrar - Board of Trustees Who can help you make the case? - The library - Student government - Students who are impacted - Faculty using open - Admin who want to lower student costs
  22. 22. Making your case! AKA what do we actually do? Will faculty be ok with this? Is there student support? Is this even a problem? Faculty sign on letter of support, faculty senate resolution, OpEd in school paper from a faculty member SGA resolution, #Textbookbroke table Speak to the decision maker and see what’s holding them back from a yes! Do a student survey, Hold a student panel, submit personal story LTEs Student media covering savings, Panels with faculty who use open textbooks But things cost money! Spread the word about the program, thank you tables for faculty, help market the programs Will the program be used?
  23. 23. If you wait until you have all the time, people and resources to go ahead, you may still never get there because you didn’t fill the interval with the action needed to get you there. - Fred Ross Sr.
  24. 24. Questions? Reach out! Cailyn Nagle