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Dr. Nicole Lapeyrouse

When two things combine, a beautiful chemical reaction can occur. Such is the case for this year’s individual award recipient. Dr. Nicole Lapeyrouse, a lecturer in the College of Sciences in the department of Chemistry, was selected to receive the 2023 AIM High Impact Individual Award for her significant and steady effort to reduce course material costs to students at UCF. She created multimedia content and adopted open educational resources (OER) to be made available to not only the UCF community but beyond.

These free open access educational videos were made to replace paid published content, and OER textbooks were submitted for two STEM undergraduate courses: geology and chemistry. Creating an environment to emulate students’ social culture has proven an effective method of enhancing retention among students and by decreasing students’ costs for educational resources. Doing so has made the courses more equitable.

Imagine sitting down in a coffee shop enjoying a cup of coffee discussing concepts you learned in class, or a subject you have general interest in. This is the image I wanted to convey for my courses.

Dr. Nicole Lapeyrouse, Chemistry

Her CHM2045 sections have typically had a capacity of 350 students since 2016. Since Fall 2021 they have adopted a virtual lab software that’s mandatory for all CHM2045 sections and reduces cost for students since they also use First Day® access. For her sections for CHM2045 she uses an OER textbook instead of a publisher book to further reduce cost for students.

Some faculty still adopt the textbook and have additional costs, so she is currently working with a team of faculty to adopt an OER textbook for their department to further reduce student costs. The effects of doing this is evinced in the fact that since 2020 alone, students have saved an estimated $100,000 in her courses.

This has definitely been one of the most challenging courses I have taken but through your guidance and resources you provide I was able to learn and grow.

UCF CHM2045 Student

Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) Instructional Designer Jim Paradiso was also instrumental in this effort. His assistance in providing OER resources for these courses is invaluable. He and Dr. Lapeyrouse are also working to build an OER textbook to be adopted for the general chemistry courses in her department.