Open Education is a critical topic that brings together a number of stakeholders - educators, administrators, book stores, libraries and students. Due to the nature of student governments, student's tenure working on student-centered issues on college campuses can be transient and short-lived . In order to help grow the open education movement on college campuses, it is critical for administrators, librarians, faculty and other valuable stakeholders to understand the role that student leaders and advocates can play in open education efforts, develop strategic action plans for engaging student leadership on campuses, and understand the value and role that students can play in shaping this conversation.
As a student leader at West Virginia University, I was greeted with open arms by my institution's Library and administration. Our open education movement started from the students, and morphed in to a university-wide initiative aimed at brining low-cost, high-quality open educational resources to our campus. As I have engaged on the national level in regards to this important topic, I have found that student leadership on other campuses are not as engaged or focuses on open education. This can change, and it starts with understanding the role of student leaders as it pertains to open education.
Students can be terrific champions for open education, but they also need to be given measurable, tangible goals to accomplish. Whether this is working on outreach efforts, sponsoring open education-themed events or launching social media campaigns to help bring awareness to open education efforts on campus students are powerful catalysts. The key to increasing student participation and engagement in open education efforts is simple - and in this presentation, I will share that with session participants. From the perspective of a student, I believe I provide a unique perspective on this issue and can give conference participants valuable insight about the role of the student leader and advocate in the open education movement.
Understanding what makes the student the leader is critical, and it will allow for university librarians, administrators and faculty to help engage student leaders in a meaningful, relevant way. Open education is a powerful movement, and the power of the movement can and will be strengthened by students adding their voice to this important conversation. We must all be a part of the conversation if we are all going to be a part of the solution.
For any further questions or comments, please contact me! My email is bnhumphrey @mix.wvu.edu.
Blake Humphrey is a junior at West Virginia University majoring in Political Science and Economics.Blake is a former Member of the West Virginia University Student Government Association's Board of Governors. During his time in SGA, he served as an intern, and he has worked tirelessly to advance the cause of college and textbook affordability.Currently, Blake is serving on the Library Textbook Committee and the Library Student Advisory Committee. Mainly, Blake's work with textbook affordability revolves around Open Source Textbooks (OSTs) and Open Educational Resources (OERs).