Faculty Selected to Participate in Materials Conversion Program
Four University of Arkansas professors have been selected to participate in the fall 2018 Open Educational Resources Course Materials Conversion Program, which is sponsored by the University Libraries and the Global Campus. Participants will create, adapt and adopt resources that will eliminate or greatly decrease the cost of course materials.
Selected participants include:
Samantha Robinson, Department of Mathematical Sciences
STAT 2303: Principles of Statistics (Creation, $7,500)
Principles of Statistics is a general core requirement for several undergraduate majors. Each year, more than 1,400 undergraduate students enroll in this course. The current cost to purchase access to the online textbook is $125. Robinson will expand current course resequencing efforts, then revise and publish the currently distributed course notes and slides into a standard format to be published as an OER. She will also develop homework problems and a text bank to correspond to the material, which will eliminate the need for commercial online textbook access. Every section of the course will use the OER. Creating and adopting OER for this course will significantly decrease the cost of this course for students. This course is offered on campus and online.
Susan C. Tyler and Whitney Payne, School of Social Work
SCWK 4093 and SCWK 4103 (Adaptation, $4,500)
Professors Tyler and Payne will adapt currently available OER for use in two core social work courses. Their project will help improve student learning and course continuity in the two-course sequence, as well as reduce the cost of the course for students. The availability of OER for social work is limited at this time. The adaptation of these resources will help address this issue in the larger OER community by adding greatly needed open resources in this discipline. Current textbook costs for the two courses total around $200.
Julia Kennefick, Department of Physics
ASTR 2003: Survey of the Universe (Adoption, $3,000)
Kennefick will adopt the OpenStax Astronomy textbook for her Survey of the Universe course. This course serves about 400 students each semester and is a University Core science elective. The current textbook cost is $177. A supplemental resource at the cost of $43 is also assigned. Both will be replaced by OER and free resources. This course is offered on campus and online.
"All applications submitted this semester impressed the OER Team and OER campus advisory group," said Elaine Thornton, distance learning librarian. "Many University of Arkansas faculty, both those who apply for the program and others who change their course materials on their own, are concerned about the rising cost of university education. It's great to see more faculty step up to help combat this issue by choosing open, free and affordable course materials."
Six incoming students have been named Bodenhamer Fellows, earning $72,000 each in fellowships for education, research and study abroad.
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Biomedical engineering faculty, staff, students and families gathered virtually May 14 to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the department's graduating seniors.
Betsy Garrison is stepping down as director of the School of Human Environmental Sciences after six years. Donna Graham will serve as interim director of the program.
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