Dr. Anne L. Drabczyk began teaching Foundations of Health Science Research HSC4730 at Indian River State College in the fall of 2014. She inherited the textbook (cost of $136) used for this class, but was dissatisfied with the content, which was too theoretical and not a good match to the applied research healthcare managers would be required to conduct. She made the switch in the spring of 2015 to a less expensive textbook ($82), but it was still not a good match for the needs her students. Dr. Drabczyk found that her students struggled with the chapters on hypothesis testing, statistics, and interpreting data were too academic. “Students had to learn a basic step-wise approach to building a research prospectus that they could apply on the job at some point; they did not have to become bench researchers”. Dr. Drabczyk began supplementing the book with other resources. She had planned on removing the required textbook altogether when she attended a session on Open Educational Resources to help her get past the copyright hurdle. In fall 2017 Dr. Drabczyk will teach her first class using all open materials. HSC4730 is an online course which has passed Quality Matters review.
Karen Lynn holds a Bachelor’s in Literature, Master’s in Composition, Language, and Rhetoric, and is currently pursuing an Ed.D in Higher Education. She has been teaching at IRSC since the fall of 2016, incorporating open educational resources in ENC 0015, 1101, 1102, and LIT 1000. She uses a great deal of open educational resources because she believes they are a responsible alterative to course textbooks. Open educational resources provide quality material that support the achievement of course objectives and learning outcomes via a medium that can be tailored to individual teaching and learning styles. Additionally, because content comparable to and contained in course textbooks, including works of literature, is available through open educational resources, she believes that removing the financial burden that comes with purchasing textbooks is the right thing to do for our students. If open educational resources achieve the same results as course textbooks, why not use resources that support academic and financial freedom?
Dr. Kimberly Zgonc has been teaching in the School of Education since Fall of 2009. She holds a PhD in Education, specializing in Special Education, from the University of Central Florida. Joining IRSC during the first semester of graduates from the Bachelor of Education program, she has helped lay the foundation for the program and internship experience. While teaching a wide variety of upper division ESE methods and strategies courses she has been able to move to OER for the lower division Introduction to Special Education (EEX 2010) course which lays the foundation for all the other courses. Using authentic resources from the Florida Department of Education and CPALMS Standards for planning lessons, students have a better grasp on current state legislation, co-teaching and adapting materials to meet the needs of their students. Some additional resources include IRIS Star Legacy Modules, IEP Modules and Video Case Studies.
From the moment she was hired, Leigh Clay knew that the Criminal Justice Department had a vision – to save students money by incorporating OER into the classroom, both online and in-person. Criminal and Delinquent Behavior, CCJ 3612, was Leigh’s first effort at transforming a textbook-based class into one that solely utilized OER. After piloting CCJ 3612 in Summer 2015 and receiving positive feedback from students, Leigh was encouraged to use OER in other classes. Designing a course using open resources is a creative challenge. It has changed the way that Leigh thinks about her subject area, encouraged divergent thinking, and introduced criminal justice to students in a fun and innovative way.