Global Campus and University Libraries Announce Faculty Award Winners

Global Campus and University Libraries Announce Faculty Award Winners
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University Libraries and the Global Campus partnered this year for the first time to offer awards to faculty for adopting and creating open educational resources. The goal of this initiative is to lower textbook costs for University of Arkansas students.

Five U of A professors will receive awards for the first application period. It is anticipated that over 1,000 students will have lower textbook costs for the 2017-2018 academic year as a result of these professors' adoption and/or creation of open educational resources. This number will be amplified as future students are also able to benefit from these open resources.

Michael Thomsen teaches food and agricultural marketing for the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. In 2009, Thomsen developed his own course materials in webMathematica. While this methodology has worked well in the past, it is hampered by the need of a proprietary plugin. Thomsen will work to transfer his materials into a free, open source alternative.

Zhenghui Sha with the College of Engineering instructs machine element design, a core course for mechanical engineering students. Sha will work to develop and/or adopt open educational resources to amplify student access to recent research, and also to develop projects based on open source design, which will tackle modern design tasks as compared to traditional design problems.

Gary McDonald, also with Bumpers College, teaches woody plant materials. There are few textbook materials available for the study of regional plants, and traditional publication methods are too expensive and difficult to update. McDonald's project proposes to transition lecture materials in the form of text and digital images to an open format for use in class and for the general public.

Jingxian Wu of the College of Engineering teaches signals and systems, a core class for all electrical engineering students. Wu aims to create open educational resources to replace the textbook currently used. These materials will include lecture notes, homework, a solution manual, a Matlab tutorial, a lab manual and a test library.

Patricia Herzog, who teaches for the  Honors College as well as the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, has three courses that will benefit from open educational resources - Honors University Perspectives, general sociology (online), and emerging adulthood. Herzog aims to create an open textbook that addresses social science research and that surrounds and informs college experiences by providing students with evidence-based approaches for successfully navigating college.

The deadline for U of A faculty to apply for an award for the adoption of open educational resources for the Spring 2018 semester is September 29, 2017. This is also the deadline to apply for an award for the creation of open educational materials for the Fall 2018 semester. The incentives offered are $3,000 to adopt open educational resources or $7,500 to create open educational resources. View the selection criteria, scoring rubric and application form on the Libraries' Open Educational Resources webpage


Kelsey Lovewell Lippard, public relations coordinator
University Libraries


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