The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AASC&U) has selected an NAU team to participate in the 2023-2024 Institute on Open Educational Resources, a year-long online engagement opportunity for institutions aspiring to launch, expand, or hasten campus adoption of free and affordable instructional materials. The team members are:
- Theresa Carlson, Head of Collections and Discovery Services, Cline Library
- Cynthia Childrey, Dean and University Librarian, Cline Library
- John Doherty, Head of Research and Instruction, Cline Library
- Dana Ernst, Associate Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
- John Georgas, Senior Vice Provost, Office of the Provost
- Michael Rulon, Associate Teaching Professor, Global Languages and Culture
- Amy Rushall, Assistant Vice Provost, Teaching and Learning Center
- Amelia Shehi, Senator, Associated Students of NAU
According to AAC&U, the Institute will help participating teams design and implement a strategy to accelerate campus OER plans for large-scale engagement and adoption.
NAU’s participation will be funded via an Elevating Excellence project co-led by John Doherty and Theresa Carlson, who were awarded $106,000 to establish the use of Open Education Resources and other affordable learning resources at NAU. Other activities for the project include purchasing e-textbooks, creating and awarding OER development grants for faculty, a variety of training and informational opportunities, and more.
Doherty, the lead for NAU’s Institute team, was attracted to the Institute by its potential to aid NAU in hastening adoption of OER and other affordable learning materials solutions.
“We are looking to advance our affordable learning materials initiatives, and to develop a university-wide action plan that incorporates all divisions and academic units,” Doherty said. “The Institute’s focus on evidence-based theory and practice aligns with the values and goals of NAU’s current affordable learning materials efforts. It will allow us to more effectively develop a transformative action plan that would embed OER, low-cost learning materials, and other affordable learning materials into our curriculum.”
Dean and University Librarian Cynthia Childrey knows the importance of increasing access to course materials without increasing costs to students.
“We continue to hear from students that textbook and other course material costs are a big concern for them – and also a major source of stress,” Childrey said. “We want to find ways to reduce the burden and the stress. I look forward to working with a group of folks from across the university – including a student senator – who are passionate about this issue and ready to take it to the next level.”