The Student Government Association (SGA) has recognized the contributions of several UT instructors who used open course materials or Open Educational Resources (OER) in 2020. Due to restrictions of the pandemic, the library was unable to honor the 2020 SGA Open Education Award winners in an awards ceremony. To recognize and share their accomplishments, the 2020 award winners include Mark Tabone (English), Jennifer Hewerdine (English), and Jeff Larsen (Psychology). You can learn more about previous winners of the awards and other faculty using open course materials at: https://libguides.utk.edu/openedleaders.
Students in these courses who nominated their instructors for the SGA OER Award commented about the savings and convenience offered by these OER adoptions:
“I was so thankful for the opportunity to have the text open access, because it made it easier to access and study anywhere as well as saving money.”
“[Because] I was able to have access to this book for free, … I now have the funds I saved by not having to buy a book to use toward other aspects of my education. This also lightens my load of worry, which helps me to concentrate and learn. … it has [also] made it possible for me to devote extra time to learning in unexpected situations and locations, simply because I can access the book from anywhere with my laptop.”
What are open course materials and why do they matter?
Open course materials, Open Educational Resources (OER), and zero-cost materials describe resources that are available to students at no cost or no additional cost. Open course materials or OER are no-cost course materials that the copyright-holder has licensed to freely share. This includes materials registered under the Creative Commons licenses.
Zero-cost materials include those freely available on the Internet, as well as those resources paid for in part through student tuition and library fees. Student tuition and library fees fund library collections and subscription materials like e-books, streaming videos, and academic articles. Faculty can use all of these materials in the classroom at no additional cost to students.
For more on open course materials and instructions on how to get starting using them, visit the UT Libraries’ Open Education Portal.
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