Congratulations to the Winners of the 2021 Open Student Scholar Prize!

In March and April of this year Open Langara and the Library jointly ran the Open Student Scholar Prize for the second time, with great success! The judges were pleasantly surprised to receive almost double the number of submissions from last year, as well as an increase in instructor-nominated projects. Once again it was exciting to see the wide variety of project formats, from multimedia teaching tools to original experiments, the caliber of the work, and the thoughtful statements on Open Education. Prizes were awarded as planned for first, second, and third place, as well as two honourable mentions. All projects can be discovered in the LaIR, Langara’s institutional repository, in the Open Student Scholar Prize collection.

In addition to highlighting exceptional student work, one of the goals of the prize is for students to engage with the values of Open Education. Winners share their work through the LaIR, and this year in particular the judges chose from several projects involving original research. With a winning spot or honourable mention student authors share their work with a wider audience, preserve their project, and make the knowledge they create more accessible. 

As part of the submission process students are asked to share their experience with or interest in Open Education. Some reflect on using open textbooks or open-source tools in class, while others focus on why they want to openly share their work. Many students point to Open Education as a means of fostering equity and diversity in academia and explore the idea of scholarship as a conversation. That conversation is undoubtedly enriched when students feel empowered to participate, so please read on for quotes from the winner’s open education statements and be sure to explore their projects in the LaIR. 

“Open education, open access, and open scholarship is important for every subject, including fine arts, where emerging artists are always influenced by or responding to what came before. So much of art, and of academia more broadly, is a conversation between researchers and artists as we explore new areas of knowledge and expression…Remix culture has always been essential for artists and creators. It also encourages us to be explicit about where our learnings come from, who we have been inspired by, and whose work and achievements we are building on. There is a sense of community accountability and celebration that comes with this approach to knowledge-making and sharing, which challenges the individualism and ‘ivory tower’ values of traditional education systems.” 

-Cat Hart, first place winner 

“Sharing knowledge openly and transparently creates relationships built on trust, not fear. My essay is on Two-Eyed Seeing which promotes the sharing of knowledge in a safe space where all knowledge sets are equal, respected, and open. There is a strong focus on collaboration within the Two-Eyed Seeing framework, a framework I will be using to guide me along my academic journey that is mirrored in Open Pedagogy.” 

-Julia McIntyre-Smith, second place winner 

“Open principles of learning, scholarship and access to information are fundamentally democratic and built upon the notion that everyone deserves the opportunity to grow, to learn and to achieve. Open principles are also invigorating, exciting and ultimately, plant the seeds for broader, more inclusive scholarship that leverages the minds of many, rather than a privileged few. Communities that integrate and practice open principles of learning, scholarship and access flourish where secrecy and profit may limit the capacity of the imagination.” 

-June Pang, Amanda Gresko, Joyce Lee, Monica Quan, Justin Zhou, group project third place winners 

Honourable mentions: Lily Cheung, Caragh Robinsmith 

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