The following is a list of instructors who have received OER and Textbook Affordability Initiative grants.
Current estimated savings to Lafayette College students [as of 2/1/2020]: $15,230
Students will read articles from library-subscribed journals in place of buying a theory textbook and 2-3 ethnographies. These articles were identified with the aid of an OER investigation grant, and chosen for their ability to simultaneously establish theoretical concepts and provide examples of ethnographic fieldwork. Estimated savings per semester, based on 60-70 students and $145 for one text and 2 ethnographies: $9,425
Prof. Shieber will be authoring a chapter on the Sociology of Science for a forthcoming Open textbook on The Philosophy of Science. The textbook will be one in a series published by the Rebus Initiative and designed for introductory philosophy courses. In addition to the benefits to the larger academic community, Prof. Shieber intends to assign this chapter, and possibly others from the textbook, in future courses at Lafayette.
Prof. Armstrong will be researching potential replacements for the current text used in the main intro course for Environmental Science/Studies majors and minors. As this is a highly interdisciplinary course, she will be evaluating a large range of OERs.
Building off of her investigation grant research, Prof. Fischer-Hoffman will remove an assigned text from her course and supplement with freely available book chapters and online guides and library subscribed journal articles. Semester savings, based on 35 students and $42 per textbook: $1,470
In assessment of previous courses, students reported that they were not referring to the assigned textbook. Prof. Soh decided to simply have students consult the copious notes she had compiled over time and direct them to reference material already held in the library when they needed to consult tables and figures. Semester savings, based on 31 students and a $160 textbook: $4,960
Prof. Kelly will be researching potential options for an OER textbook. The Spring 2019 iteration of the course is being taught without a textbook due to cost, but an alternative freely-available textbook would open up class time for more discussion and less lecture.
Seven professors in the Chemistry department will spend the Spring vetting several alternatives to the textbook currently required in all sections of General Chemistry. The current book is already quite expensive, and a new edition, which will certainly be even more costly, is slated for released in the fall.
During the 2018-19 winter break, FLL faculty attended an OER workshop. This half-day session included 3 components: introduction to OER and the benefits to students and faculty; hands-on lab time to identify potential OER materials, followed by sharing results; and an overview of how an OER text was used for an Italian course at Muhlenberg College.
SPSS is the standard statistical analysis program for Psychology, but is expensive (both in terms of site licenses for college-owned computers and individual licenses for students), outdated, and difficult for undergraduates to learn. Prof. Nees will teach students to perform analyses using JASP, an open-source statistical analysis software program that has a gentler learning curve and is more up-to-date. Semester savings, based on 17 students and a $40 individual license: $680. In addition, if this pilot is successful, the college may be able to save tens of thousands of dollars by moving away from a full site-license subscription to SPSS. This grant was awarded in conjunction with Prof. Bell’s investigation grant, detailed below.
Prof. Bell will research alternatives to several expensive texts currently assigned in PSYCH 203, including a standard text on research methods, the APA style manual, and an SPSS guide for weekly lab assignments. This grant was awarded in conjunction with Prof. Nees’ implementation grant, detailed above.
Prof. Fischer will research potential alternatives to the two assigned texts for the IA research methods course. In addition to textbook alternatives, she will also be looking at other freely-available materials such as online guides/tutorials, videos, and library-subscribed content.