http://elsid.waketech.edu Tracy Cheatham is a Professor in the Chemistry department at Wake Tech Community College. She teaches General Chemistry and has been using Open Education Resources, or OER, to replace the traditional textbooks. Let’s check out why Tracy is doing this... Previously, for my chemistry class, the textbook cost $300 and the lab kit was an additional $200. This meant that it cost more for students to buy the materials than to take my class. Now I use OER to make the textbook free, which removes barriers and promotes equity. Tracy was noticing that only about 20% of her students would even buy the book because it was so expensive. So, at first, she cobbled together her own OER by googling to find free resources. Then OpenStax, a repository of peer-reviewed, open source digital textbooks, released a book compatible with her course. After taking some time to review the material, she made it available to her students...when students go to her pacing guide, they find links to the relevant sections of the OER. It is also available as a downloadable, searchable and editable pdf as well as a print copy. Now, a much larger percentage of students are regularly using the textbook because it’s free and so easily accessible. The use of OER has had such a positive impact, these free, digital textbooks are now used in all Chemistry Concepts and General Chemistry courses at Wake Tech. So, what do students have to say about it? Well... For more information about OER, contact the eLearning Support & Instructional Design Team. Lets work together!
OER w/ Tracy Cheatham Wake Tech Innovation Series eLSID