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OER Faculty Adoption Award Forum

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The OER (Open Educational Resources) Faculty Adoption Award Forum, held virtually on March 9, highlighted the diverse and flexible nature of openly licensed course materials and shined a light on student’s preference for free digital materials.

Professor Jeanne Liedtka, JD, received the award to transition the Law of Contracts and Sales elective to using OER. Not a newcomer to OER, she had previously used OER in the popular Intellectual Property (IP) Law for Business course. Liedtka compared and contrasted both successful experiences. IP is a dynamic branch of law heavily dependent on case law.  A law school text, Boyle & Jenkins’ Intellectual Property:  Law and the Information Society: Cases and Materials, served as the backbone of the course.  Her undergraduate student’s weren’t phased by materials designed for law school students, but Liedtka did go the extra mile to supplement the text with articles centering business perspectives on IP issues and recent cases in the public domain.  Liedtka noted that contract law is less dynamic field, and she had well developed lectures notes that served as the core of the course, so Introduction to Contracts, Sales & Product Liabilitywritten for undergraduates, was a serviceable reference.  She encouraged faculty interested in exploring OER adoptions to contact their subject librarians who can map available OER to course outlines and syllabi.

Valentina DeNardis, PhD, shared her personal and professional reasons for adopting Dickinson College Commentaries, to the Classics course, Readings in Authors. As a first generation student herself, Dr. DeNardis recalled feeling overwhelmed by the cost of texts and being stressed when the edition of a text she needed to use far exceeded the price for alternatives. In a grad school class, where she met her husband, she had to purchase a very costly scholarly monograph that was never even used, so now they have two pristine copies in their home. From a teaching perspective, Dr. DeNardis noted that affordability isn’t the only reason to choose openly licensed materials. Digital is convenient, flexible, and accessible. Because classics studies require a wide range of very expensive materials including texts, dictionaries, grammar books, translations, and essays, the Commentaries supplemented with Library-subscribed content was ideal.  Dr. DeNardis built a Microsoft OneNote notebook to deliver the content and as a forum for student collaboration.

A panel of students spoke to the social and academic benefits that flowed from using OER. Olivia noted that the online platform was better for visual learners because it facilitated looking up maps, videos, and images. Lauren felt that digital materials made it easier to do translations, because she could easily toggle between dictionaries. Anna liked digital sticky notes, which are environmentally friendly! From a pocket book point of view, Valeria noted that in fields with rapidly evolving developments having a current text is important, but it is distressing that the resale value of commercial textbooks diminish fast due to constant updates. Tuition increases and expensive textbooks can make it hard for some students to stay in college. She felt that using OER allowed everyone to be in the conversation and made class debates fun.

When asked about their overall experience with college textbooks, Olivia recommended frequent and early alerts about required books because discounted books sell out fast and delays in shipping can cause students to fall behind in their work. It was a relief to Lauren to find out on the first day of class that she didn’t have to pay for any books. Valeria said “eliminating the economic barrier of buying books gets everyone involved..[which] helps professors and students.” She observed that students can be discouraged from taking a class or  minoring in a subject because of expensive materials, whereas free or low cost books promote exploration. One student asked if professors are required to assign textbooks, even when they don’t intend to rely on them heavily, and wished that they would let students know up front when that is the case.

Dr. DeNardis explained that she hopes the effort she made finding and using affordable materials will serve as a model for her peers. Liedtka explained that at VSB faculty teaching core courses are encouraged to use the same text to ensure a consistent student experience, and that faculty have the freedom to design the course around the textbook, sometimes using relying on it heavily or sometimes only as a reference.

The forum concluded with a discussion about how to advance the use of OER at Villanova. On the demand side, both Dr. DeNardis and Liedtka recommended awards and grants, faculty surveys, forums and programs, and library services. On the demand side, both suggested encouragement and support for Villanova faculty authoring OER. They observed that authoring OER ensures the availability of great content and noted that it would enhance University branding and raise the profile of programs.

The 2022-23 Faculty Adoption Grant is accepting applications.  Visit this site to apply.

A recording of the OER Faculty Adoption Award Forum is available.


Linda Hauck is the Business Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library and Affordable Materials Project member.

 


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OER Adoption Award Recipients

Jeanne Liedtka, JD, and Valentina DeNardis, PhD, are the Fall 2021 OER Adoption Grant recipients.  This pilot grant, generously funded by the Associate Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning, is designed to encourage faculty to select free, openly licensed textbooks as primary teaching materials.  Open educational resources (OER) improve affordability and support flexible, open teaching practices, and accessibility, which have been exposed at critically important for all students during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Applications for the Spring 2022 OER Adoption Grant are open until October 30, 2021.

Liedtka will teach BL 2185, The Law of Contracts and Sales with Introduction to Contracts, Sales and Product Liability by Mayer, Warner, Siedel & Lieberman supplemented by her lecture notes.  No stranger to teaching with OER, Liedtka had previously transitioned BL 2149, Intellectual Property Law for Business, to using a free, open access textbook.

DeNardis will teach Latin 3001, Reading in Authors using Dickenson College Commentaries, OVID,  Amores Book I, Poetry in Translation as well as scholarly articles. DeNardis, a leader in adopting digital materials, will use this as a model for  Greek and Latin literature classes.

Together these two classes will save students over $10,000 in the first year.

Valentina DeNardis, PhD

Jeanne Liedtka, JD


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AMP Celebrates $1 Million in Textbook Savings

At the conclusion of the Spring 2021 semester, the Affordable Materials Project (AMP) reached an important milestone well worth celebrating: since Spring 2018, AMP e-book matching has potentially saved students more than $1 million on course materials!

If you are a new student at Villanova this year, or if you haven’t heard of the program, AMP is a joint effort between the Provost’s Office, CASA, the University Bookstore, and the Library. As a part of its initiatives to encourage cost savings for course materials, AMP provides for library access to e-books that are assigned as course materials for Villanova students.

The AMP committee continues to work to deliver additional titles for the Fall 2021 semester. If you are enrolled in a course with an assigned text available in the AMP program, you should receive an email with more information about accessing the e-book via the Library. Be sure to check out the AMP resources for students page to see if your text is available and save yourself some money while gaining online access to the materials you need to succeed in your coursework.

We hope as many students as possible are able to benefit from the AMP e-book matching program for their courses, and some of you may receive a survey later this Fall asking about your engagement with the program so that we can better understand AMP’s impact across the University.

Have a productive, healthy, and memorable Fall semester!

 


John Banionis

John Banionis is the Metrics & Assessment Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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Celebrating Faculty Adopting Open Educational Resources (OER)

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.

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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.

A recording of the full faculty forum, including student’s remarks is available to the Villanova community and a version with only the faculty presentations, is available for open viewing.


Linda Hauck is the Business Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library and Affordable Materials Project member.

 

 


 


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View Recordings of Workshops on Course Materials Assistance Programs

""Existing and emerging financial limitations, COVID-19, and the pivot to online learning has exposed challenges many students face securing the course materials they need to succeed and thrive. Villanova faculty and academic support staff are encouraged to learn about strategies and resources available across the university to reference whenever a student discloses being in need of course materials.

Affordable Materials Project members compiled a listing of local course materials assistance programs and initiatives and hosted virtual workshops (recorded January 13, 2021 and January 21, 2021) for faculty and staff to share best practices for working with students facing challenges with securing the course materials they need.

Note: recordings of the video are only viewable by Villanova community members.

AMP is a university-wide collaboration between the bookstore, Falvey Memorial Library, CASA, VITAL, and the Office of the Provost, all working together to address one of the most pressing issues students face today.


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Faculty Awarded Grants for Open Educational Resource (OER) Adoptions

By Linda Hauck

The Affordable Materials Project is pleased to announce the recipients of the OER Faculty Adoption Grant.  This pilot grant, generously funded by the Associate Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning, is designed to encourage faculty to select free, openly licensed textbooks as primary teaching materials.

OER improve affordability and support flexible, open teaching practices, and accessibility, which has become critically important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Almost 200 students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering and the Villanova School of Business will benefit.  These grants will potentially save students over $23000 during the 2020-21 academic year, a 360% return on investment.

Awardees will share their experiences with adopting OER with the Villanova community and assess student satisfaction with the materials used.  We hope to continue to promote the growth of OER with another round of grants in the 2021-22 academic year!

Awardees & Courses

Faculty Grantee Course Code Class Name
Alexander Diaz-Lopez MAT 8790 (CLAS, Math) Applied Combinatorics
Stephanie A. Katz Linkmeyer MSE 2301(CLAS, Chemistry) Chemistry of Water
Sarvesh Kulkarni ECE 7428(Engineering) Computer Communication Networks
Sue McFarland Metzger MIS 2020(Business) Programming for Adaptive Problem Solving
Mojtaba Vaezi

ECE 3225 & 3245(Engineering)

Signal Processing & Discrete Time Signals & Systems

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Linda Hauck, MLS, MBA, is the Business Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 


 


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A Closer Look at How AMP Initiatives Impact the Cost of College Textbooks

By Linda Hauck

Course materials are a small portion of total student costs, but they are a piece that faculty and support staff can positively impact.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of college textbooks has increased 87.5% between 2006 and 2016.

The Affordable Materials Project (AMP) is equipping students and faculty with strategies for making course materials more affordable. This is no small contribution given that Villanova students spend on average $940 on textbooks.

Downward pressures on the cost of college course materials are showing up in the numbers. According to the National Association of College Stores, student spending on course materials has declined 41% between 2007 and 2019.

However, this may not be cause for celebration. A US PIRG study, Fixing the Broken Textbook Market 2nd ed, reports that “two-thirds of students skip buying the assigned textbooks” and almost one fifth of students “skip buying access codes necessary to complete assignments.”  These behaviors adversely impact academic achievement and student’s general well-being.

The AMP book-matching initiative is a collaboration between the University Shop and Falvey Memorial Library.  The University Shop shares the list of faculty assigned books with the Library. The library matches required books to ebooks in our collection with unlimited simultaneous users and identifies additional titles that the library can license.  In five short semesters, from spring 2018 to spring 2020, this program has realized a cumulative potential savings for students of over $718,000.  The cumulative library cost was less than $43,000. That is a 1670% return on investment!

We are hopeful that the OER Faculty Adoption Grant, the most recent AMP effort generously funded by the Associate Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning, will run up equally impressive numbers. This year 5 grants of $1000 will be awarded to faculty who revise or design a course around using open educational resources, which are entirely free for students to use and may be revised to suit educational goals.  We look forward to calculating the student savings this investment will bring!

 


face shot of business librarian

Linda Hauck, MLS, MBA, is the Business Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 

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Last Modified: July 28, 2020