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Tuesday, November 10 • 7:30pm - 7:30pm
Unlikely Partners: Harnessing Student Enthusiasm to Create an OER Grant

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In 2019, following the Carnegie Foundation's reclassification of Elon University as a national research university, Elon's Carol Grotnes Belk Library made growing the understanding and presence of OER on campus a chief priority. Despite some individual success with faculty receiving state-funded grants, Belk Library struggled to translate those discrete achievements into significant, widespread interest.

Unbeknownst to Belk's librarians, Elon's Student Government Association (SGA) was working in parallel to address textbook costs. However, their attempts to manage those concerns stalled due to annual membership turnover and a lack of exposure to the open education movements and their foundational precepts. A chance meeting between two librarians and a persistent SGA representative brought the two campaigns together. Combining the librarians' experience and knowledge with student enthusiasm and influence proved to be a successful formula: in the spring of 2020, Elon approved their joint proposal for a faculty OER grant program.

We offer lessons learned about earning administrative buy-in and maintaining that support; focusing student interest and enthusiasm by expanding their understanding of OER; and building multi-interest coalitions to create sustainable open education initiatives.

Learning Outcomes: Students sense the value of free, open resources; lack of support for OER may stem from an insufficient vocabulary for articulating these ideas. If educators provide that missing context, students can voice their support and faculty/staff can grow their OER coalition. Our case study demonstrates a 180-degree turn from failure to success in implementing OER initiatives when students act as co-leaders.

avatar for Betty Garrison

Betty Garrison

Business Research Librarian, Elon University
Hello! I'm the business librarian at Elon University. I've spent 22 years learning how students become information literate, what makes them curious to learn more, and how to use in-class hands-on exercises to stimulate interest in accomplishing better research.
avatar for Jesse Akman

Jesse Akman

Health & Life Sciences Librarian, Elon University

Tuesday November 10, 2020 7:30pm - 7:30pm EST
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  Collaborations, Lightning Talk