Nominated by fellow faculty member Necati Catbas, Dr. Ricardo Zaurin, a Lecturer in the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, received the 2022 AIM High Impact Individual Award for his dedication to reducing the cost of instructional materials for his students. This individual impact awardee was selected because of the accessibility, quantity, and quality of Open Educational Resources (OER) made available to not only the UCF community but beyond.
Coming from a household with financial struggles, Dr. Zaurin used his own college experiences as motivation for seeking out various ways to reduce the cost of instructional materials for his students. He has created over 100 videos with problem solutions which are made available to UCF students and the public via YouTube. Students, at first, were wary of his methods, but quickly took to Dr. Zaurin’s approach to course materials, showing more interest in the class and becoming better prepared for future courses. Within the past two years, he has not only gained student satisfaction but has saved students over $250,000 in course material costs.
Aiming to reduce the cost of instructional materials, Dr. Zaurin was able to receive a plethora of support from UCF’s Center for Distributed Learning (CDL), the Pegasus Innovation Lab (iLab), the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL), and the Division of Student Learning and Academic Success (DSLAS). Through these resources, he was able to fine-tune his methods of teaching via training, suggestions, a course redesign initiative, and funding that provided key tools to students at no cost. Instructional Designers Anchalee Ngampornchai and Corrinne Stull were also integral to preparing and organizing his web course materials.
Dr. Zaurin’s dedication to UCF students has brought his course sections closer to being Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) courses. Moving forward, he plans to continue creating and providing free course materials for his course sections and hopes to inspire others to do the same.