UW Libraries Award OER Grants

Sep 4, 2019

From UW News

University of Wyoming Libraries recently awarded open textbook grants to seven faculty members and one graduate student to implement open educational resources (OER) in their classes this fall.

The open textbooks resulting from the grants are projected to save UW students more than $138,000 each semester.

“With the Alt-Textbook Grant Program, University of Wyoming Libraries hopes to continue to encourage the creativity and innovation we have seen from past applicants,” says Hilary Baribeau, an assistant librarian in Digital Collections. “By creating open textbooks and course materials, faculty at UW help meet student needs and encourage student success at a time when the costs for textbooks are higher than ever.”

Grants are awarded to instructors who adopt, adapt or create new open textbooks or other materials for their courses. Grant awards range from $1,500 to $3,000.

The grant recipients are:

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources 

Karen Vaughan, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, and Ruben Aleman, a Ph.D. student in the department. The grant will support the creation of 3D digital soil samples that students can use in a laboratory setting, saving students field trip expenses to disparate sites to study soil. Vaughan and Aleman will collaborate to create an interactive, 3D soil catalog that demonstrates varying soil structures. The models will be used in Vaughan’s “Introduction to Soil Science” course.

College of Arts and Sciences 

Kaatie Cooper, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism. Cooper teaches “Visual Communications” and will use OER resources to replace the current textbook as well as teach students how to use free, open source design software and Adobe Creative Cloud products. By combining multiple current OER resources, she will create a book that will contain both text and workbook-type activities.

Scott Crawford, a statistics associate lecturer, and Ken Gerow, a statistics professor and associate head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Crawford and Gerow are collaborating to create their own statistics textbook that will be used for their courses, “Statistical Methods” and “Statistical Methods for Biologists.” Their initial intention was to seek out a publisher for this book; instead, they opted to create this as an open resource textbook to make it freely available to other statistics professors.

Scott Freng, a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology. He teaches “Research Methods in Psychology” and will adopt an open resource research methods textbook for his course. According to Freng, the available open source materials better reflect current research trends and issues in psychological research. The open access materials also incorporate more engaging digital content, and Freng plans to adjust his coursework to better cater to the new text.

Eric Quade, an assistant lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He teaches “Calculus III” and will use the grant to create a question bank. The question bank will be stored online, and it will be accessible to all UW and Wyoming community college calculus instructors. The questions will be based off a currently available, open source text.

College of Health Sciences

Elizabeth Goodwin, an associate lecturer in the School of Nursing. Goodwin teaches “Healthcare Informatics” and will adopt currently available, online open source materials. The grant will be used to develop modules and assignments specific to the open resource materials. The materials created will be used in partnership with Wyoming community colleges in conjunction with the Revolutionizing Nursing Education in Wyoming (ReNEW) statewide curriculum.

UW Libraries will award another round of grants for the 2019-2020 academic year. Proposals for that award period are due October 15. The grant award committee will prioritize proposals for high-enrollment classes and those that include UW and community college partnerships.

For more information, visit https://uwyo.libguides.com/oer/grants.


If you have a question about this or any other article, please contact us at statelibrary@wyo.gov

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