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Bridging the gap: Rural librarians’ journey to understanding students’ role in OER outreach
Langdon, Amanda N. and Parker, Katherine E.

JournalThe International Journal of Open Educational Resources
Volume 2, Issue 1
CountryUnited States, North America

Literature detailing how small, rural academic institutions have implemented initiatives for Open Educational Resources (OER) is limited; most articles focus on university systems, state schools, and R1 research institutions. Our outreach – conducted over the past year at rural Adams State University – initially targeted faculty. However, after encountering silence from this group, we sought to explore the largely uncharted possibility of engaging students as advocates. While our continuing efforts will certainly seek to promote faculty awareness and address barriers to adoption, we have come to understand two things: that faculty engagement is not enough, and the great role student advocacy can play. The librarians’ first goal in our nascent OER initiative is to educate and empower the student body, and by doing so, help bridge the gap between librarian advocates and faculty adopters. Our initial outreach effort to measure student awareness and interest had two aspects: in-person, and online. The first step was to talk to students face-to-face about textbooks and associated costs, while informing them of the existence of OER and alternative textbook sources. The second step was to engage students online via a survey. This helped us gain insight into their perspectives on the problems they face due to textbook prices. Going forward, we plan to create a two-pronged outreach method: some continuing education of faculty, but more emphasis on students. Our goal is to equip students with the knowledge to advocate for OER to faculty, administration, peers and even family. Final takeaways from this project include the need to involve students in outreach efforts as well as encourage them participate in future OER planning and projects. No single group can solve the problem of outrageous textbook costs; it’s only by faculty, librarians, and students working together that Adams State University will join the nationwide OER movement, not just as participants, but as contributors.

Keywords librarians · student advocacy · OER/open educational resources · outreach · faculty

RightsCC BY
Export optionsBibTex · EndNote · Tagged XML · Google Scholar

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