You don’t have to dig too far to find a group of faculty members dedicated to student learning and savings. The Anthropology department was selected to receive the 2023 AIM High Impact Group Award because of their large-scale efforts to implement open educational resources (OER) and library-sourced materials across the department.
The department’s decision to use these course materials has had a huge impact on thousands of students resulting in an estimated savings of over $580,000 for students.
It all started when Dr. Michael Callaghan and Dr. Lana Williams created their own OER textbook for GEP course ANT2000, and by Summer 2021 all sections of ANT2000 adopted this textbook. Because of the success of this initiative and the positive student response about the textbook, adoption was also pursued for GEP course ANT2511.
Despite the significant faculty effort and time involved in changing the course materials and course design, the faculty remained committed to prioritizing low-to-no-cost course materials for students while continuing to provide a quality education.
The understanding that college students typically suffer financial hardships and the inclusion of a completely free textbook, the use of a free attendance app, and the efficient use of Canvas Webcourses to help the class [allows students to] really thrive without added pressure.
Because of the overwhelming positive feedback from students about these quality course textbook adoptions, the Anthropology department has decided to adopt an OER textbook for their final GEP course, ANT2410 by Fall 2023. They will continue to encourage their faculty to prioritize OER and library-sourced options for their courses for affordable textbooks.
Along with the support of their faculty and department chair, this group also received support from the Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) and the UCF Libraries. CDL Instructional Designers, Dr. Aimee deNoyelles and John Raible, assisted in the process to ensure the OER textbooks were available online, in the courses, and accessible for all students. Subject Librarian, Missy Murphey, helped numerous Anthropology faculty members find library-sourced eBooks to implement as required course materials.
Faculty in the Anthropology department have taken extraordinary measures that have shown to not only save students’ money but support their performance.