Affordable Learning Initiative

Faculty Stories

Many CSUMB faculty are already using no- or low-cost content in their courses.

Jarrett Bachman and librarian Kenny Garcia have worked together to develop a No Cost, No Paper Course Material Initiative for the new Sustainable Hospitality Management (HOSP) program. All materials for HOSP courses are available to enrolled students free of charge in the form of ebooks that can be accessed through the CSUMB library. This provides students the opportunity to alleviate the burden of textbook costs and gain access to course materials while saving paper, ink, energy, and transportation costs and resources.

Danielle Burchett is using the library-owned ebook Majoring in Psychology: Achieving Your Educational and Career Goals as the course text for PSY 300: Experimental Psychology and Human Assessment, a large-format course of 180 students. She is also, via iLearn and a personal website students may access after they’ve completed the course, providing students access to videos and websites that support interactivity during the course and continued learning after.

Dan Fernandez uses the free online text Light and Matter in his Physics I and II (PHYS 220 and 221) courses, and has developed quizzes, slides and videos to supplement it. He has been collecting feedback on the text from students, and plans to share it with the author. Learn more about Dan's experience adopting and teaching with Light and Matter.

Katie Grobman teaches with OERs in his 180-student PSY 100: Introduction to Psychology course, and has integrated three online independent study modules, which allows her “to focus class time on more depth on other topics not usually explored as deeply within the course.” To help other faculty find and implement affordable materials, Katie has also reviewed the contents of several OER directories and created a much more selective curated list organized in alignment with psychology department course offerings at CSUMB and similar institutions.

Arlene Haffa teaches Biochemistry and Microbiology in an inverted classroom format, and thus students must have a text in order to work on problems in class. She has found both a free online text, as well as slightly older versions of standard texts to reduce costs. She posts lectures and short quizzes online to be done before coming to class. In other course she has taught, and may again, she uses mostly free, online readings (Bioethics and Health Science Service Learning). Arlene is also working with Corin Slown to create an open General, Organic and Biochemistry textbook for the agricultural and natural sciences.

Doug Hull created a message to a department chair to raise awareness of a free, online open text that could replace the high-priced, commercially-published text currently in use for a course required in the major.

Myriam Kodl, for her Introduction to Earth Science (GEOL 210) course, has been using an older (less expensive) edition of a textbook. She plans to slowly phase the textbook out and replace it with online materials, including the free online text Earth Science from the CK-12 Foundation. To incorporate specifics that are currently in the course but lacking in the CK-12 resource, she will create quizzes for iLearn, and incorporate external videos, animations, and reading guides. The goal is to use the structure of CK-12 and "incorporate a variety of media formats to create a dynamic unit of study for students."

Ryne Leuzinger and Doug Hull created a message to all faculty introducing open educational resources (OERs) as increasingly viable alternatives to traditional learning materials.

Ryan Luke creates digital presentations using Camtasia Relay, Garage Band, iMovie, and PowerPoint, has experience editing and posting lectures to iTunes U, and would like to learn more about creating iBooks. Also, Ryan is currently using the free OpenStax textbook Anatomy and Physiology for his Physiology and Biomechanics of Aerobic Exercise (KIN 430) and Physiology and Biomechanics of Anaerobic exercise (KIN 440) courses, along with library-owned journal articles and readings from books students already own for other courses.

Browning Neddeau used all free, online or library-owned reading materials for his LS 233: Arts in the School and Community summer course, and is piloting the readings with his full semester-length fall course now. As a next step, Browning is exploring moving the course to a hybrid format, and considering how best to integrate the readings.

Meghan O’Hara, for CART 376: Documentary Making, is using chapters of three library-owned ebooks along with other materials to provide students with an iLearn-based course reader. Also, she “found a great comic book on copyright and fair use produced by the Duke University Center for the Study of the Public Domain, which will add some life to a particularly dry topic we cover in Documentary Making.”

Lee Ritscher is using parts of the online text Communication in the Real World, along with videos that illustrate differing concepts related to interpersonal communication, to make course materials entirely free to students for her Interpersonal Communication and Conflict (HCOM 214) course.

George Station is using Introduction to Sociology from OpenStax College for his Technology and Society (FYS 156) course. He integrated the text into his course as part of a redesign based on the Quality Matters (QM) online learning quality assurance project led by Miguel Lara.

John Silveus uses Biology and Concepts of Biology from OpenStax, and this spring, will pilot a supplemental learning resource from OpenStax called Concept Coach. He also uses The Habitable Planet free online text for ENVS 201, and incorporates free-to-student case studies from the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science into all his courses.

Susan Szasz is using Principles of Macroeconomics from OpenStax College for her Macro Economics and Community (BUS 201S) course. An initiative of Rice University, OpenStax College offers high-quality, peer-reviewed textbooks that are free for online versions and low in cost for print. Susan is currently developing slides to supplement the text.

Pat Tinsley McGill, Dante DiGregorio, Sharon Kurtz, and Mark Peterson use the low-cost text, Mastering Strategic Management, from Flatworld Knowledge in the College of Business BSBA Strategic Management Capstone course.

Jill Yamashita co-wrote a statistics textbook and published it through an alternative publisher, saving students about half the cost of a traditional textbook.

Natalie Zayas uses the free online text The Habitable Planet in her Introduction to Environmental Science (ENVS 201) course. Learn more about Natalie's experience teaching with The Habitable Planet.