Meet the Open Texas Committee Members: Ashley Morrison (Promotion & Assessment)
Name: Ashley Morrison
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Where do you work?
University of Texas at Austin
What do you do there?
Tocker Open Education Librarian
Where did you go to school?
BA & MSIS at the University of Texas at Austin
Where is your hometown?
North Richland Hills, TX
How did you get involved with the Open Texas Conference?
Last year was my first as an attendee of Open Texas, and I was blown away by the quality of the programming! I feel it's important to support events that I value in whatever way I can.
The interest in open education seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?
I think there are a number of reasons, but the COVID-19 pandemic really highlighted and exacerbated existing inequities among students all over the world. I know that faculty I work with express a heightened level of empathy; they are more aware than ever that many of their students are financially vulnerable. This level of attention and care has encouraged them to consider the ways in which they can directly impact the cost of access to higher education -- by assigning OER and other forms of free and affordable course materials.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about presenting or attending Open Texas?
Please do! The attendees, presenters, and organizers of Open Texas are a kind and receptive group, and the quality of the programming is unmatched. You will walk away feeling inspired but also equipped with practical ideas about how to start or grow an open education initiative.
What is your personal philosophy on open education?
I'm so energized by the possibility of OER and open education practices to enhance the accessibility, equity, and inclusiveness of course materials and classrooms. I know that open education, at its most effective and expansive, is a tool for social justice and that what we do matters. I get to experience this every day in my interactions with both instructors and students who are so appreciative of the financial and pedagogical affordances of OER.