STEPHENVILLE — Five Tarleton State University faculty members were recently awarded grant funding to develop Open Educational Resource (OER) materials to reduce textbook costs for students.
Dr. Karen Murray, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, provided $10,000 to encourage faculty to adopt or create OER materials to be used in teaching core courses starting in fall 2020.
Tarleton faculty receiving grants for 2020:
Dr. Robert Anderson and Dr. Charles Howard (Communication Studies) for FINA 1360 – Art of Film
Dr. Karl Aho (Government, Legal Studies and Philosophy) for PHIL 3301 – Ethics in the Professions
Dr. Trina Geye and Dr. Stephanie Robertson (Psychological Sciences) for PSYC 2301 – General Psychology
Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials available at no cost to students, accessible from mobile devices, and available from day one of classes.
The grants are expected to impact more than 1,000 Tarleton students and save them just under $150,000 the first year of implementation.
Award funds can be used for OER development or to purchase materials or supplies. Tarleton libraries, the Division of Academic Affairs and the Center for Instructional Innovation offer this opportunity for the second straight year.
Thanks to legislation drafted by Freshman Representative Council members Heather O’Daniel and Zak Belbina, Tarleton Student Government adopted a resolution in Februaryencouraging faculty to use more OERs.
Grant winners from the previous year continue to implement their chosen OERs, and with a positive response. In a preliminary survey, students said OER material is easily accessible and that they perform as well or better freed of having to pay for course materials.
“I really do appreciate that Tarleton has begun using OERs in some of their classes,” one student said. “It really reduces the stress of buying textbooks for those who can’t afford it.”
Another enthusiastic student commented, “Please continue to offer free textbooks and make a university-wide service.”