The purpose of this internship is to create a textbook affordability resource website and to track textbook affordability impact data.
In 2020, the University of Oregon Office of the Provost and University Senate convened the Textbook Affordability Task Force in response to Oregon HB 2213, which requires each community college and university in Oregon to create a textbook affordability strategic plan. This task force met bi-weekly over the 2020-2021 academic year to formulate an institutional response to reducing textbook costs for UO students. The goal of this internship is to help move the implementation team forward on two key goals in that plan:
· 4.2 Develop central textbook affordability resource website, which contains information and support for students, faculty, and leadership teams on campus to learn about available resources to lower course materials costs.
· 5.2 Based on increased course materials reporting, provide transparent data back to faculty and departmental decision-makers about course materials costs.
To do this, this intern will work directly with the coordinator of eLearning & Open Educational Resources (OER) to create two related, connected projects:
Project 1: Textbook Affordability Data Dashboard (approx. time to complete – 1 term)
This first project is directly tied to goal 5.2 of the strategic plan: to create a way to gather and track meaningful data about textbook affordability, so that this data can be used to track impact, savings and cost avoidance over time. This data dashboard will be something that is shared with campus leaders and can ideally be connected to project 2, a resource site, detailed below.
For this project, the intern will work with the Coordinator of eLearning & OER to gather key institutional data from the Duck Store and the registrar to create an interactive data dashboard in Google Data Studio to track the number of low and no cost sections, the number of students impacted and the approximate cost avoidance. The dashboard can be customized to show specific cost data to colleges and departments to help campus leaders track individual departmental and college impact over time. The data dashboard will also be used to report overall institutional impact of the low and no cost designated courses to the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission each biennium.
Project 2: Textbook Affordability Resource Website (approx. time to complete – 2 terms)
The second project will focus on goal 4.2, to create a central web presence and resource website to provide information to faculty, students and campus leaders about textbook affordability and open educational resources at the University of Oregon. This website will bring together key information that each stakeholder needs:
· For students, the website will provide a student-centered, centralized resource on what support they have available to them to assist with textbook and course materials costs, such as scholarships, loans, and lending libraries. This helps to solve a key pain point for students currently who have to search several different university websites to get needed information about financial assistance programs.
· For faculty, it will provide them information about options they have to lower course costs, such as OER, OA, and curriculum-driven library purchasing, as a few key examples. It will also advertise faculty incentive programs relating to textbook affordability and OER. It will provide a central place for them to get in touch with the Libraries for assistance in lowering course costs, and also a central place for them to direct students needing assistance to.
· For administrators and leadership teams, it will provide information for how they can make an impact at the college and departmental level, and it will provide impact data, such as the data dashboard created in Project 1.
The intern will meet weekly with the Coordinator of eLearning & OER, who supervises this position. The intern will be provided professional development activities through Open Oregon in textbook affordability and OER. The Coordinator will also suggest additional free or low cost training opportunities to help develop their skillsets relating to the projects. They will also attend textbook affordability-related meetings, such as implementation team meetings, presentations for the libraries and University Senate, etc. Additionally, the Coordinator will facilitate 1:1 meetings with the following campus experts for information and support:
· Director, Applications Development and Integration
· Director, Digital Scholarship Services
· Coordinator, Library Assessment
· Digital Scholarship Librarian
· Web Services Librarian
· Information Services
· Director of Open Oregon Educational Resources
· Faculty advocates for textbook affordability and OER
· Student advocates for textbook affordability and OER
· The Registrar’s office, such as Sarah Strickler, member of the Textbook Affordability Task Force
· The Duck Store, likely Alex Lyons, CIO and member of the Textbook Affordability Task Force
These two projects are scoped out over the 3-term period with the data dashboard spanning the first term, and the larger resource site spanning the next 2 terms with the goal of the first version and the infrastructure of both projects being complete by the end of the internship period. This will provide the intern with two online, public-facing projects that demonstrate their impact with data analytics, documentation, and outreach, as well as textbook affordability and OER. OER and Textbook Affordability librarian positions are growing in libraries nationwide, and with additional skills in website design/development and data analytics, an intern who is interested in this profession will be competitive and highly skilled. Further, any library role benefits from being able to tell a meaningful story about impact using data and outreach materials. This position provides an opportunity to flex and build those skillsets. Additionally, the position will liaise and collaborate with other campus stakeholders, giving them broader experience and exposure to the larger university. This provides an opportunity to translate these important skillsets to other college or university jobs as they are interested in them – in student success, information services, the registrar’s office, etc.
Specifically, in summary, the intern will gain skills in:
· Data analysis and visual display
· WordPress basic website building
· Textbook affordability advocacy
· Outreach and communication strategy
· Project management
Special Requirements (knowledge, skills, experience, etc):
The successful candidate should have:
· Basic familiarity with Google Data Studio
· Basic familiarity with Spreadsheets
· Experience creating content for a website in a content management system such as WordPress or Drupal.
· An interest in textbook affordability and open educational resources
This intern will work fully remote and will not come to campus (though they will need to be working inside the U.S.).
The intern will need to have access to a quiet workplace, since they will be fully remote and meeting with campus stakeholders over Zoom/Teams. They will need reliable internet during work hours, as the internship projects will be fully online in WordPress and Google Analytics. Internet speed should be sufficient to videoconference and edit websites simultaneously.
The intern will need to be able to work on their own computer, which must meet the following minimum specifications:
· Has a camera and microphone for videoconferencing.
· Can run the most current version of Chrome and/or Firefox.
· Can run Zoom or Teams and a web browser at the same time without crashing.