The Affordable Materials Project celebrated the work of five faculty members who adopted open educational resources (OER) in the 2020–21 academic year. OER are free, accessible, and openly licensed textbooks.
Alexander Diaz Lopez, PhD, Assistant Professor, Mathematics & Statistics; Stephanie Katz Linkmeyer, PhD, Assistant Teaching Professor, Chemistry; Sarvesh Kulkarni, PhD, Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Sue McFarland Metzger, Professor of the Practice, Information Systems; and Motjaba Vaezi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, were motivated to adopt OER for a variety of reasons not limited to the significant cost savings for students. Faculty noted that the award inspired them to try OER.
Dr. Katz Linkmeyer appreciated the seamless integration of OER with Lab Archives, and Professor McFarland Metzger’s integrated with Blackboard. They liked that digital OER incorporated interactive features, but were also available as PDFs for offline use or in print. Professor McFarland Metzger noticed that by giving students the OER they all were on the same page with course content. One faculty member attributed improved Course and Teacher Surveys scores, in part, to the adoption of OER.
Several faculty remarked they supplemented OER with extra notes, problems, exercises, and figures to better align with their course objectives and that this was time intensive but worthwhile. Additional support for these projects would be welcome.
Students remarked that they liked having continued access to the book in contrast to e-book rentals. They admitted that the use of OER relieved students from weighing the risks involved in waiting to see if the assigned textbook is really used as a key resource for learning and assessments. They felt that the use of OER relieved financial pressures and hoped to see more widespread adoption of OER across the curriculum.
The 2021–22 OER Faculty Adoption Grant is accepting applications. Visit this site to apply.
Linda Hauck is the Business Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library and Affordable Materials Project member.
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