Summer Interns from Wake Forest University
Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Three entrepreneurship students from Wake Forest University supported West End Learning as interns this summer. Caroline Wilson, Leah Messenkopf, and Jason Ju Wang contributed to the launch of Syllect through faculty outreach, social media, content acquisition, and product development.
As interns, they learned about open educational resources, copyright, and database development. They also provided the student perspective on affordability, the need for quality open content to be matched to courses, and the convenience of an automatic link-checker like Syllect’s.
As rising juniors and seniors, they empathized with issues related to textbook costs most of all. Caroline brought up a good point: What happens when students are directed to buy resources for their classes that they hardly use? "I can't even begin to tell you the number of times a professor has required us to buy a textbook for a course and then we barely even used it," she said.
After faculty invest the time to find and vet a resource, they can share that information with students. However, sometimes that's not the end of the story. Students are left in the dark if links become outdated and they can't
access the material.
Leah weighed in on this subject. "In my personal experience, when they finally decide on the materials they want to use, sometimes the links are invalid or the content has disappeared altogether."
Finally, Jason acknowledged the ongoing efforts of faculty to find the best and most applicable resources for their courses. "We see first-hand the struggle our professors go through when searching for materials to use in our courses. We know that they are trying to find innovative content, but often they miss the mark."
As Syllect develops, fewer students will face these challenges. Special thanks to Caroline, Leah, and Jason for their hard work! We wish them every success.