UA Little Rock faculty members awarded grants for open educational materials

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Ten University of Arkansas at Little Rock professors have received grants that will make learning more accessible by creating open educational resources for their courses. 

Open educational resources are educational materials in the public domain or introduced with an open license, meaning they can be used freely. Educational materials like textbooks, curriculum, lecture notes, syllabi, assignments, and tests would be open to the public and could be used by students and faculty without cost.

“Our purpose is to provide and promote the use of pedagogical content that will assist online instructors with acquiring exceptional course materials, creative innovative learning through collaboration, promote student retention, and reduce costs,” said Carol Macheak, research and scholarly communications coordinator for Ottenheimer Library.

Winners of the Open Educational Resources Textbook Mini Grant will adopt open educational resources for an existing online class. Each professor will receive a grant of $750 or $1,500.

Some of the professors will use the grant money to create open educational resources that will replace textbooks in their courses and save their students hundreds of dollars.

A total of $9,000 in grants were funded by a partnership between the UA Little Rock offices of Collections and Archives, eLearning, and Scholarly Technology and Resources.

“OER is a growing method to allow students to have direct access to course material during the semester, especially in cases where the book is not available or the student lacks funding,” said Dr. David Montague, director of eLearning. “This tremendous student retention oriented collaboration between Collections & Archives and eLearning & STaR promotes discussion on appropriate OER content selection and even provides an Ottenheimer librarian to assist in that process.”

The winners include:

  •      Amar Kanekar, assistant professor and graduate coordinator for the Department of Health Education and Human Performance
  •      Euchay Ngozi Horsman, assistant professor of rehabilitation counseling
  •      Bennie Prince, advanced assistant professor in Department of Health, Human Performance, and Sport Management
  •      LaVerne Bell-Tolliver, associate professor of social work
  •      Daryl Tate, assistant professor of instructional technology
  •      James Vander Putten, professor of higher education
  •      Kamran Iqbal, professor of systems engineering
  •      Jeff Carmack, assistant professor of nursing
  •      Neveen Shafeek, assistant professor of sociology
  •      Andrew Deiser, associate professor of Spanish

Grant winners will also participate in campus presentations, panels, and Open Education Week in spring 2018 to discuss how they have implemented open educational resources into their courses.

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