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Bob Casper with ASBSU Representatives

Casper and ASBSU

Bob Casper and three members of the executive council of the Associated Students of Boise State University –Kaleb Smith, Emily Rembert and Mikayla Melchert – gave two presentations at the Open Education Conference Oct. 10-12 in Niagara Falls, NY.

Their first presentation was “They May Already Know What You Don’t: Student OER Self-Advocacy!” The presenters explained from the student’s point of view, the future of education will heavily rely on open educational resources (OER). How can we increase the adoption and use of OER within our educational institutions? Student awareness and self-advocacy was the main focus of the panel. How can we garner student support and build self-advocacy for OER with these learners? The answer seems simple – no student wants and some simply cannot afford to pay the high cost of textbooks. Yet affordability is only one thing to build support structures on, another is to have students self advocating for it siting quality, accuracy, currency and relativity.

Their second presentation was “How Student Self-Advocacy Can Change the World of Education as We Know it.” This panel examined how students are beginning to speak up about the textbook costs affiliated with their courses and are becoming more interested in OER. Students are enthusiastic about the idea of cheaper textbooks, however, having students be the advocates of this revolution across campuses will make OER successful.

This presentation by student leaders explored how students can be used as a catalyst in implementing OER on campuses across the country. Students are first intrigued by the low-cost idea, but this is not the only benefit of OER. The presentation discussed how OER can be more accurate, up-to-date and relevant, which allows the students to be engaged in the more precise exchange of information within a given course. The student leaders presenting shared strategies, methods and obstacles in not only how to gain student support for OER, but how to turn that support into student advocacy. They continued to discuss how implementing OER awareness into class registration can significantly make students aware and on board with classes adapting to these new ideas.