Faculty Create New Open Educational Resources





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Five new open educational resources created by U of A faculty are being used this semester in U of A courses. These projects were funded by the Open Educational Resources Course Materials Conversion Program, a joint effort between the University Libraries and the Global Campus. 

“The University Libraries’ ongoing partnership with the Global Campus is essential to supporting these faculty-produced open educational resources,” said Jason Battles, dean of University Libraries. “These resources provide a valuable cost savings to our students, so it’s important that we continue to encourage OER creation and usage on campus.”

Manuel Rossetti, university professor of industrial engineering, created Simulation Modeling and Arena for use in his Simulation course (INEG 3623). After requesting and receiving the return of his author rights from a commercial publisher, Rossetti elected to create an updated version of the textbook as an open online resource. 

Jennifer Beasley, director of teacher education, and Myra Haulmark, director of teacher licensure, are piloting the new Introduction to Education (BETA) that they created in two sections of the Introduction to Education course (CIED 1013) before implementing it in all sections of the course next semester. This open educational resource will replace a $100 textbook. 

Music in World Cultures by Justin Hunter and Matthew Mihalka, instructors of musicology, has been adopted in both sections of Music in World Cultures and Honors Music in World Cultures (MUSY 2003). This course meets two general education learning outcome requirements.  

Lynn Meade, instructor of communication, is piloting the resource Advanced Public Speaking (BETA) in her Advanced Public Speaking course (COMM 2303) this semester.

Jacquelyn Mosley, professor for the School of Human and Environmental Sciences, and Margaret Butcher, teaching assistant professor of communication, have released Creating Cultural Competence, a project they created with the support of a Teaching and Faculty Support Center teaching grant and with support from the Global Campus media team. Mosley uses the video series in Introduction to Cultural Competence (HDFS 2493) and Multicultural Families (HDFS 4473).    

Other instructors who have adopted open educational resources for the first time this semester include Anthony Justin Barnum (SOCI 4603: Environmental Sociology), Donia Timby (HDFS 3453: Parenting and Family Dynamics) and Edvan Brito (PORT I: Elementary Portuguese I). More than 20 courses are using OER in lieu of requiring a textbook purchase for the fall 2021 semester. More than 2,600 students have benefitted, saving over $260,000 in total textbook costs.  

“We are thrilled to continue working with the teaching faculty to expand access to OER courses for U of A students and support them as they innovate their teaching,” said Elaine Thornton, open education and distance learning librarian. “We have made steady progress over the past four years and look forward to the sustained expansion of the program.”

Thornton will be holding a drop-in office hour every Tuesday at noon in September for faculty interested in open educational materials.



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