:sync: OER Student Advocacy Toolkit

Authors: James Glapa-Grossklag, Ryan Erickson-Kulas
Institutions: College of the Canyons, Michelson 20MM Foundation
Country: United States

Topic: Applications of Open Education Practices/Open Pedagogy/Open Education Research
Sector: Community College
UNESCO Area of Focus: Building capacity
Session Format: Lightning Talk


Advocacy for Open Education often focuses on institutional practices, financial resources, or government policy: recognize authorship of Open Educational Resources (OERs) as a legitimate form of academic scholarship, or fund a grant program to encourage adoption of OERs, require government publications to be openly licensed. In most cases, the ideals behind these efforts focus on students: expanding access for students by removing cost barriers or improving student learning by enacting open pedagogy. Nevertheless, advocacy for Open Education rarely involves students themselves.

The OER Student Advocate Network in California aimed to change that. The project empowered current higher education students to become effective advocates for OER. Students from select California Community Colleges and California State Universities were identified and recruited to participate in the OER Student Advocate Network.
The initial meeting brought together the students with experienced leaders in the Open Education field: Barbara Illowsky and James Glapa-Grossklag, who guided this project. The project was generously funded by the Michelson 20MM Foundation, whose mission is to improve post-secondary access, affordability, and efficacy.

The goals set for the students were to develop a toolkit for student OER advocates and to improve their ability to advocate for OER awareness on their own campuses, In addition, the students spoke at academic conferences, with the aim of encouraging other institutions to engage their students in OER initiatives. The most visible outcome of the project is an OER Student Advocate Toolkit, which combined original content from students with openly licensed materials from other projects. The OER Student Advocate Toolkit is published in OER Commons.


Students, Advocacy, Network

Some of the student authors of this toolkit contributed their OER Impact stories with CCCOER. Read those and other OER student stories here

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OpenEd Week webinar featuring some of the student authors of the toolkit and US Pirgs.

Recording of the lightning talk: