Jillian Maynard is a Reference and Instruction Librarian at the Elihu Burritt Library at Central Connecticut State University. During her year as a SPARC Fellow, she was a Reference Librarian at the University of Hartford Harrison Libraries. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island with an M.L.I.S. and an M.A. in History. In addition to reference services at the University of Hartford in which she offered one-on-one research help for students and faculty, she helped to grow the overall information literacy instruction program, and worked closely with professors in the History department. She was also co-chair of the campus-wide OER (Open Educational Resources) Committee, and led the institution’s effort and involvement in the 2017-2018 OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program. She was named a fellow in the 2018-2019 Cohort of the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program and is and used that opportunity to advance the mission of open at the University of Hartford. At OpenEd 2018, she led a presentation titled “Private Institution, Public Outlook: Lessons Learned from the Early Start of an OER Initiative,” highlighting some of the unique challenges private institutions face when exploring OER. In her new role at CCSU, Jillian is now a part of the state system and will therefore participate actively in the statewide conversation around OER and will join efforts already in place to continue to foster a culture of open at the institution. She is also a part of a vibrant Reference team continuously working to improve instruction and reach more students at the University.
As a fellow in the 2018-2019 cohort of the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program, Jillian’s main goal was to explore OER as a way to help increase retention at the University of Hartford. Guided by the program, she explored the different ways of promoting an OER initiative and how to build on what has already been done at the University by speaking with campus stakeholders, getting the Student Government Association involved, and presenting at campus meetings. In response to a growing group of faculty interested in creating or adapting OER for their courses, she created a LibGuide outlining the Creative Commons Licensing options to help guide their decisions.
While working on the initiative, Jillian saw a need for a more robust OER Guide that could support the work she was doing on the ground, and serve as a helpful resource to educate faculty and get them started. Jillian’s capstone project is a complete redesign of the University’s OER LibGuide, Getting Started with OER. During the design phase, Jillian surveyed the Open Community to gain insight into what others consider best practices for designing OER Guides. The results of that survey greatly informed the final product. The revamped guide consists of three major sections: What is OER? Where can I find OER? What’s happening on campus? In each section, there are additional subsections that provide more context and resources, including an indepth look at Creative Commons licensing, Open Pedagogy, and how to evaluate OER using helpful rubrics. Jillian also created four video tutorials on how to do basic searches for OER in four of the larger repositories. The flexible nature of the guide will allow for updates and changes far into the future of the initiative at the University. Ideally, this guide will help to educate faculty and administration prior to one-on-one meetings and presentations, thereby providing support for the small group of people working on the initiative. Jillian also hopes it will serve as a helpful template for other institutions looking to start their own OER initiatives. Please visit her final portfolio for more information about the project.