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Celebrating our Trailblazers in Open and Affordable Education at UConn

Trailblazers are bold and caring faculty who free themselves from commercial textbooks and provide exceptional learning opportunities using alternative materials in their courses.

Affordable course materials include:

  • Faculty created new learning materials : textbooks, syllabi, videos, interactive online modules, etc.
  • Linking to course readings selected from the library's collections of online resources
  • Negotiating with the publishers for lower prices on commercial textbooks
  • Adapting or adopting resources from one of many OER Repositories around the world
  • Using Public Domain texts, data, or images for analysis and new knowledge creation

Here are our UConn Trailblazers

They have saved our students over $400,000 since our initiative's humble beginnings in Fall of 2015.
Let us know how you help students afford a UConn degree. Post your good work here to share with our community.

Alexia Smith, Anthropology

Dr. Alexia Smith, Anthropology. In her course Great Discoveries in Archaeology, Dr. Smith will use rich media, news, research articles, and primary data.

Emma Bojinova, Agriculture and Resource Economics, adopting an existing OER Textbook

Emma Bojinova, Agriculture and Resource Economics, adopting and supplementing an existing OER Textbook for ARE 1150.

New Astronomy Faculty, adopting an OER Astronomy textbook.

Astronomers Kate Whitaker, left, Jonathan Trump, and Cara Battersby at the UConn Physics Observatory on Oct. 14, 2016. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Lois Church, Adjunct Professor of English, UConn Waterbury

Lois Lake Church, English, UConn Waterbury, adopting an open access textbook and open pedagogy authored by Dr. Ellen Carillo, one of this year's recipients of UConn's Provost Award for Open (see above).

Shane Peterson, German Film Studies

Shane Peterson, German Film Studies. This course fulfills two general education requirements. will transition to open learning materials in Fall 2017 as a broader pedagogical rethinking that will result in a fully online for intersession 2017 and a flipped classroom iteration in Spring 2018. Above all, the proposed open materials will aid visual learners.

Owen Svalestad, Economics Derek Johnson, Economics

Owen Svalestad and Derek Johnson will use a combination of adapting, creating, revising, and remixing to bring an affordable textbook for General Education courses in Economics beginning in the Spring of 2018.

Drew Jaramillo Amit Savkar, Mathematics

Drew Jaramillo and Amit Savkar will be using their years of teaching expertise to create a new open textbook for Pre-Calculus as well as creating the online help, quiz, and text banks.

Dr. Kimberli Treadwell, UConn Waterbury, Psychology

Dr. Kimberli Treadwell, Psychology, UConn Waterbury, says, "Due to the prohibitive cost of textbooks, my students have shared textbooks, purchased older, cheaper editions, or have foregone a textbook. Adapting an OER textbook will allow Waterbury students greater access to course materials in terms of cost, and multiple avenues of access including online use, download use, or print copy."

Dr. Ed Neth

Dr. Edward Neth was our first Trailblazer to adapt an OpenStax text for UConn. OpenStax recently announced that, "The Atoms First version of the Chemistry text was published less than a year ago and it has already impacted over 159,000 students, saving them $1.56 million." Photo by Mei Buzzell, UConn Daily Campus, 10/9/15.

Jospeh DePasquale

Joseph DePasquale, Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry. First adopter of OpenStax Chemistry beginning Spring, 2016. He is currently creating ancillary materials for the text as OER.

Dr. Ellen Carillo, English, Waterbury

Dr. Ellen Carillo, Department of English, UConn Waterbury, authored A Writer’s Guide to Mindful Reading, an open-access textbook, which will be used by First Year Writing and "W" classes beginning Fall, 2017.

Caner Hazar

Caner Hazar, Doctoral Candidate in Sociology. Instructor for SOCI 1501: Race, Class, and Gender. Completely redesigned his course. One student said:
"I can tell the curriculum was more thought out, as every part was handpicked. It made the unit comprehensive and often made the issue more contemporary and practical."

Ambar Sengupta, Mathematics

Ambar Sengupta and Alexander Teplyaev will be creating a new open textbook in Probability Theory for MATH 3160.[/caption]

Adam Giambrone, Math Honors Calculus, adapting an existing OER textbook with Erin Rizzie Erin Rizzie, Math Honors Calculus, adapting an existing OER textbook with Adam Giambrone

Adam Giambrone and Erin Rizzie will be adopting and adapting an open-source active learning textbook, Active Calculus, by Austin, Boelkins, and Schlicker , using the open source MAA WebWorK online homework system [WeBWorK], and using innovative active learning pedagogy for Math 1151Q: Honors Calculus I in the mathematics department.

Dr. Jamie Vaudrey, Marine Sciences, Avery Point Campus

Jamie Vaudrey, Avery Point Marine Sciences, has used open materials in her classes for over 8 years. With this grant, she will modify current and develop new resources into an open textbook to be served through HuskyCT and openly available to all. This new OER resource will delve into writing skills, translation of science, self-editing, researching a topic, reading journal articles, and logical argument development.

Challa Kumar, Chemistry

Challa Kumar, professor of chemistry, center, with Inoka Deshapriya, left, and Caterina Riccardi, both graduate students on Oct. 28, 2013. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo). Dr. Kumar will be creating OER texts and ancillaries for Physical Chemistry.

Dr. David B. Miller and Addison Zhao

Dr. David Miller (retired 2017) has been involved in Open Education for many years creating podcasts of classroom lectures for his students. Dr. Miller and his former student, Addison Zhao, recently co-authored as chapter in a new book - Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science

Dr. Nina Stein

Dr. Nina Stein, Chemistry, UConn Waterbury. Dr. Stein utilized the OpenStax Connexion platform and adapted the Chemistry textbook to better match her pedagogical approach for CHEM1127.

Share your knowledge with the world

Jason Oliver Chang, Professor of History and Asian American Studies

Dr. Jason Oliver Chang, Professor of History and Asian American Studies, built his Immigration course around public domain historical data, scholarly articles, and relevant online resources.

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