Skip to Main Content

Open Educational Resources: Faculty Adoption

Find open educational resources (OER) available to lower or eliminate the cost of textbook content for any course at Indian River State College. Find open access materials including alternative textbooks, public domain resources, and creative commons lice

Faculty OER Champions at IRSC

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 LynnKaren 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?

Kimberly ZgoncDr. 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.  


Leigh ClayFrom 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.


Kate Bradford

Kate Bradford, Esq., Assistant Professor in the Criminal Justice program at IRSC. We decided to make this switch because we decided that we could offer students a superior class experience while saving them a significant amount of money.  Building a course using multimedia resources, websites, and free reading materials creates a more dynamic and engaging learning experience for students.  




Dr. Bodi AndersonDr. Anderson received his doctorate from Northern Arizona University in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Educational Technology, as well as his M.A. in applied linguistics with a focus on corpus and Computer Assisted Language Learning (C.A.L.L.).  Having long been a proponent of online learning and OER sources he redesigned both educational technology courses offered by the School of Education to make use of OER. In redesigning EDF4430 he makes use of a rich variety of online resources including an Education Psychology Textbook by experts in the field, which is licensed under Creative Commons 3.0 standards in addition to a wealth of online sources including a mixture of research presented in both text and video form and authentic and interactive FLDOE public data sites. This replaces the previous $158 textbook used in the class in a field with few and costly options.


Dr. April Van Camp began teaching World Literature I and II online in 2008. After two editions of textbooks from two different companies, both of which cost students approximately $100.00, she decided something needed to be done to reduce the students’ book costs.  After all, students use only a fraction of the texts in the books.  World Literature I (LIT2110) is now solely an Open Educational Resource and QM approved course. Soon its sister course World Literature II (LIT2120) will be an OER/QM approved course.  Open Educational Resource classes not only offer students an equivalent—or sometimes better—product without any textbook cost, but OER course development also offers instructors an opportunity to practice the research and writing skills they teach.  April’s experience creating the two classes has enthused and invigorated her teaching, and she looks forward to using the OER tools in even more classes.


Assistant Professor Steven Knapp teaches English at IRSC.  Among various English courses taught at IRSC, the American Literature classes, Professor Knapp believed, could quite easily use open educational resources (OER).  Most relevant texts are in the public domain, and American Lit classes need few—if any—proprietary translations.  Working with IRSC library staff, Professor Knapp launched a fully OER version of American Lit I in the fall of 2018.  But, saving every student one-hundred dollars is only one small piece of the OER advantage.  OER instructors get the biggest benefit.  They can select their course content instead of working from some textbook editor’s idea of what might be wanted.  And OER classes are popular with students and school districts that supply textbooks to dual-enrollment students.  Now with OER classes available, courses populate more easily.  OER classes are going to be less likely to be canceled because of under-enrollment, and demand for more sections of these classes is likely to increase.  In short, creating an OER course is time well spent for instructors.