In Spring 2021, the Physics Department received the AIM High Impact Team Award for their remarkable contributions to reduce the cost of course materials for their students through Library-Sourced Materials and Open Educational Resources (OER), especially for courses in Physics, Astronomy, and Physical Sciences. This team impact award was based on estimated student savings since the first OER adoption in 2017.
Potential student savings are calculated based on the number of students enrolled in the course and the cost of the course textbook which was replaced. The use of OER by the faculty in this department certainly has an impressive cumulative total of $1,639,117.27. This work grew exponentially this past year, with almost 20 faculty members from the department joining the effort, as reported in a 2021 UCF Today article.
However, the true impact is best measured not by numbers, but by the words of our own students. In the article, Health Sciences major Emily Sierra shares how this impacted her personally. “To have a professor who cared enough to put in the hours of work to make the supplies free, especially in the midst of the scariest and most uncertain times our generation has faced in history, made me feel seen as a student,” she says. “It motivated me to push that much harder when studying because I knew he did very clearly care about our success as students.”
Member’s of UCF’s Center for Distributed Learning also played an integral role in this team effort. James Paradiso (Instructional Designer), Kylee Woodland (Techranger), and Aileen Pongnon (Techranger) were also recognized for their contributions to the success of the Physics department in building and implementing these free or low-cost course materials.
2021 AIM High Impact Award Team
Faculty Members from the Physics Department Recognized During the 2021 AIM High Event
UCF Faculty Zhongzhou Chen and Thomas Brueckner recorded the below videos to help illustrate the importance of affordable instructional materials for students and how it has affected their own courses. These videos were also played during the 2021 AIM High event.