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Open Educational Resources (OER)

UNI Textbook Equity Champions

Headshot of Lyn Countryman

Dr. Lyn Countryman, Department Head & Professor, Science Education

Dr. Countryman has taught a SciEd 1200: Inquiry into Life Science Course for over 15 years and for the past five years has been using an OER text she modified to fit this biology class designed for students who want to be elementary teachers. She didn't want students to incur the additional cost of a textbook. She serves on UNI's AAC&U Institute on OER team.

Headshot of Johnathan Chenoweth

Dr. Jonathan Chenoweth, Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning

Dr. Chenoweth has served on the School of Music faculty since 1991, and became director of the CETL in 2021. Identifying appropriate materials and themes for his LAC teaching has been a restless and perennial quest, but in Spring 2021 he had a very encouraging experience that relied on zero- and low-cost options. He serves on UNI's AAC&U Institute on OER team.

Earle, Robert

Dr. Robert Earle, Visiting Professor, Philosophy and World Religions

Dr. Earle adopted an OER textbook for his Humanities sections beginning in Fall 2020. Through also utilizing public domain copies of primary source materials, Professor Earle no longer has to ask students in that course to purchase any texts at all. At approximately 300 Humanities students each academic year and assuming a standard of $100 in textbook costs, that is a savings to UNI students of greater than $35,000 per year.

Headshot of John Ophus

Dr. John Ophus, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies; Associate Professor, Biology

It has been a few years since Dr. Ophus has taught a general biology course, but he did use Openstax Biology as his text. He enjoyed it very much and found the biggest problem using it was having students try to print off entire chapters from a University computer lab! He serves on UNI's AAC&U Institute on OER team.

Headshot of Laura Strauss

Dr. Laura Strauss, Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Strauss's interest in OER stems from a departmental culture of finding ways to reduce the cost of educational materials for students. Chemistry was one of the first departments to move to inclusive access materials, starting with general chemistry. In fall 2021, all sections of general chemistry began using an open text, reducing student costs only to online homework systems. She serves on UNI's AAC&U Institute on OER team.

Deb Young headshot

Deb Young, Instructor, Languages & Literatures

Over the eight years Deb has taught Cornerstone, she’s grown more and more frustrated by the expense of the textbooks. Cornerstone integrates first-year composition with oral communication, so several texts are necessary to cover all the content. The cost of taking the class added up quickly. In about 2019, Deb began to integrate OERs into the course and found them to be a great replacement for traditional textbooks. In that time, she’s dropped the textbook cost of her courses from approximately $125 per student to $0.