Faculty Experiences with OER

Dr. Sarah Franklin

Photo of Dr. Sarah FranklinI recently updated my History 201 course to accommodate open educational resources. It was a great process from start to finish, in large part due to the assistance I received from the OER team here on campus.
I wanted to convert to open resources for several reasons. Textbook costs continue to rise and are reaching prices I could not have imagined a decade ago. Students, particularly students not physically on campus, often have a difficult time obtaining the book in a timely manner, and this is even more pronounced when they add the course late. OER avoids those problems. It also avoids the problems that arise when students purchase the wrong book. And, selfishly, I no longer haul my heavy textbooks around when I am grading in different locations—the book is always available online. In short, OER makes my life easier, and my students’ lives easier.


Mr. Jason McCall

Photo of Mr. Jason McCallAfter completing my syllabus, I can report the following statistics for the course. Of the 31 readings for the course, 19 of them (61%) come from UNA library resources, and the remaining 12 (39%) come from free online journals and magazines… I hope to have a larger percentage of materials come from UNA libraries for the OER courses I develop in the future.

Also, I can report on the diversity of authors in the OER course. The final syllabus includes, to the best of my knowledge, 19 female authors, ten male authors, and one nonbinary author. Also, over half of the authors for the course are minority authors.

Using OER materials did not change the goals or major assignments of the class. I am confident that students will still receive the experience and exposure they need to have a better understanding of what it means to write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. I am happy that I can still deliver a quality experience to UNA students while reducing the cost of the course for the students.

Dr. Melissa Moore

Photo of Dr. Melissa MooreI have long been concerned about the rising cost of course materials and the increasing income inequality in the US. These two things combined make it increasingly difficult for people to attend university. I recently switched to a non-profit publisher but the textbook and materials were still expensive. The OER group at UNA were very helpful in pointing me to resources for my geology class. As with many topics, geology is not changing so rapidly that we need unnecessary new editions of textbooks every year. With OER I can control what topics I teach and have the flexibility to compile the best resources on each topic while keeping my course requirements under $25 per student.