Champion of Open – Bruce Wilson

Bruce Wilson –
School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs

Describe your open educational resources and/or practices:

I use the Krutz & Waskiewicz (2019) resource called American Government 2e published by OpenStax, which is available online. In many ways the book contains all the material of a traditional textbook but with the added benefit that it can be easily edited, the chapters rearranged and/or, reordered, and that ancillary material can added to specific parts of the book.

Describe the impact open educational resources and/or practices has had on your teaching and/or students’ learning: 

The book resolves four key issues facing students and faculty:

  1. Access to the textbook without the prohibitive cost of a traditional textbook (approximately $80 in my case), which many students elected not to purchase or to purchase an older version.
  2. Access to the correct version of textbook on day one of the semester. Students could start work right away regardless of the student’s financial situation and no need to wait for financial aid to be released to buy their books, which allows me to use all 16 weeks of the semester and stick to the schedule.
  3. Break the link with publishers’ frequent, often needless new editions.
  4. Creative control: I treat the book as a skeleton for the necessary course information and then build on that skeletal information with added ancillary readings/video to help and push students think about and apply the major concepts I want to emphasize and meet my class objectives.

What is one piece of advice for other faculty interested in OER/P?

Think about what purpose your selected textbook serves in your class and then work with your instructional designer to see if the same or better material can be found in an open format.

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