Abbey Elder is the Open Access & Scholarly Communication Librarian at Iowa State University and liaison librarian for the Departments of Anthropology and Sociology. She supports scholarly communication on campus by developing workshops, events, and educational materials for users about topics related to OER, Open Access, and copyright. In 2018, she helped launch Iowa State University’s Open Education Mini-Grants Program with ISU’s Center for Excellence in Learning & Teaching and the Office of the Senior Vice President & Provost. Abbey’s personal and professional research interests lie in understanding the disciplinary differences in the approaches that faculty take toward Open Access and Open Educational Resources. In particular, Abbey is interested in Open Access monograph publishing, the Digital Humanities, and the OER needs of instructors in particular disciplines.
As part of the Open Education Leadership Program, Abbey was encouraged to explore the needs present in the Iowa State University community to influence her project development. Since ISU has strong programs in engineering, agriculture, and technology, she was interested in exploring the needs of instructors in these fields when it comes to the adoption or creation of OER. Her capstone project, Identifying OER Needs by Discipline, is a survey instrument and user guide developed to explore how faculty in various disciplines approach OER differently from their peers in other fields.
Abbey’s other major contributions to the Open Education Leadership Program include a video series on Youtube that discusses topics in Open Education and a worksheet on project development for OER advocates. The Project Development Worksheet is an openly licensed outline created to support advocates who are interested in developing their own initiative or project.
Abbey’s Open Education video series is still growing as topics arise or are requested. The videos cover major aspects of the Open Education movement, including Open Pedagogy, student activism, equity, and more. She is currently working on a research project with representatives from other universities to implement a shortened version of her Disciplinary OER survey guide. Abbey is available for and interested in collaboration with other researchers who are exploring topics related to Open Access or Open Education.