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WIU Libraries Highlights Textbook Heroes to Celebrate Open Education Week

March 2, 2018

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MACOMB, IL – To celebrate Open Education Week, March 5-9, Western Illinois University Libraries is honoring faculty who use open educational resources and open textbooks in their classrooms.

These resources have an "open" copyright license to allow the materials to be accessed free.

To honor the participating faculty, the WIU Libraries will have a "Textbook Heroes" display in Malpass Library.

Among the faculty in the WIU Libraries' Textbook Heroes display are:

• Associate Professor of Physics Esteban Araya; Physics Instructor Natalia Andreev; Assistant Professor of Physics Brian Davies and Professor of Physics Kishor Kapale, who teach astronomy classes using the open access astronomy textbook available from OpenStax.

• Assistant Professor of Economics J. Jobu Babin, who uses the OpenStax textbook Microeconomics in conjunction with the Knewton adaptive learning platform, which provides personalized assessment and feedback, for his course in Microeconomics.

• Professor of History Ginny Boynton, who uses U.S. History from OpenStax to teach U.S. History.

• Professor of Sociology Lora Ebert-Wallace and Sociology Instructor Beate Wilson, who use the Introduction to Sociology, 2E from OpenStax, to teach beginning Sociology courses.

• Associate Professor of Computer Science Laurence Leff, who has developed voice animated PowerPoints, laboratory assignments and a textbook for a Computer Science course.

• Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research Roger Runquist, who uses online manuals to teach advanced classes in Graphics Communication.

"There are a lot of open textbooks available online through sites like Rice University's OpenStax, the University of Minnesota's Open Textbook Library and University of British Columbia's OpenEd," said WIU Government Information and Data Services Librarian Linda Zellmer. "These collections provide access to open textbooks, which can be used to teach lower-level courses. Using an open textbook instead of a commercial textbook can help students save money, which makes college more affordable for students. Other ways to reduce textbook costs include placing copies of textbooks on Reserve in the Library and using an older edition and supplemented with readings about new advances available in journal articles."

Zellmer is a member of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) Open Educational Resources Task Force, which is working to teach librarians and faculty about open textbooks and resources that can be used to teach classes. CARLI is a member of the Open Textbook Network, a consortium of colleges and universities working to advance development and use of open textbooks.

In addition to the "Textbook Heroes" display, the University Libraries has scheduled other events during Open Education Week.

Araya will be a panelist for the webinar "Faculty Experiences on Teaching with OERs" The webinar, organized by CARLI and the Louisiana Library Consortium, will be held at 11 a.m. March 6 in Malpass Library, room 180. The webinar could be of interest to administrators, faculty and staff interested in hearing about incorporating open textbooks into their courses.

In addition to the webinar, Zellmer will teach a workshop on Open Educational Resourses (OER) through the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research (CITR) at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 7 in the third floor classroom of Malpass Library.

For more information about any of the events, call (309) 298-2705.

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