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Open Educational Resources: Textbook Heroes

Textbook Heroes

Faculty members at USC are using Open Educational Resources to save their students money. Meet your textbook heroes:

Marianne Bickle

Marianne Bickle, Ph.D. 

Retailing and Interdisciplinary Studies

“The two fashion history courses I teach are huge (taught online) and taught throughout the year, including summer. It doesn't have a pre-requisite, so both courses are very popular across campus. The issue is that the book is SO expensive. Yes, the images are pretty, but . . .  After the SCoer seminar, I think I’ll be able to find really good Open Educational Resources for both courses.”

Conor Harrison

Conor Harrison, Ph.D.


"The SCoer! Faculty Award helped me learn about the various open access resources that are out there, as well as provide me with ideas about how the library staff can help me to use them in class. My students are now benefiting by saving money and from having better resources in the class."

Shelley Jones

Shelley AJ Jones, Ph.D.


"The population I teach, nontraditional students in Palmetto College, consists of a fair number of students for whom finances have been a hindrance to their access to education. Our mission in Palmetto College is to make education accessible to as many students as possible. I am committed to seeking out ways in which to meet that call, which is why I applied for the SCoer! Award. 

With the generous support of the SCoer! Award team, I redesigned one of the core courses for our degree programs to include reading materials at zero-cost, saving students over $100 each on textbooks. The professors in my unit, one of whom, Dr. R. Mac Jones, is a previous SCoer! Award winner, are now exploring how to make all of our core classes zero-cost for students. 

High-quality Open Educational Resources are readily available for the majority of general education courses since these courses impact the most students. We had to be creative finding appropriate materials for the upper-level internship course I chose to revise. The librarians expertly led me to multiple potential resources from which I generated a reader tailored to the course's objectives. I was able to fill in gaps from the textbook I had previously assigned, while honing in on the concepts from the textbook I found most useful."

Deborah Hazzard

Deborah Hazzard, Ph.d.


"I am so excited to see how the migration to Open Educational Resources (OER) is positively impacting my students. The OER textbook adopted for my MGMT 478 (Strategic Management) capstone course is a high-quality resource that is both relevant and topical.  Using OER has increased accessibility for my students and addressed affordability concerns. The positive feedback I receive, coupled with the gratitude expressed by my students, is confirmation that I made the right decision. I strongly encourage faculty to seek out OER resources for their courses."

Karen Edwards

Karen Edwards, J.D.


"The SCoer! Award was a great opportunity for me to tailor relevant course materials to my students' needs, without adding the burden of a custom course-pack."

Lana Burgess

Lana Burgess, Ph.D.

Museum Management

"Everyone loves free stuff, especially college students. Promotions, incentives, freebies, and complimentary gifts…whatever they are called, students are eager to participate if they can get something free in return. I have often asked myself, how can I provide access to free curriculum materials beyond posting readings to Blackboard? In learning about the SCOER! Faculty Award program, I discovered my answer. Toss the textbook! As a 2016 recipient of the SCOER! Faculty Award, I am delighted to have had the opportunity to learn about and craft a syllabus using Open Educational Resources (OER). I believe that using online Open Educational Resources meets the 21st century students’ expectations for how they choose to communicate, study, and work, thereby engaging them more fully and providing relevance to them."

Hannah Rule

Hannah Rule, Ph.D. 


"In addition to expanding my knowledge of quality, open-access teaching materials and the clear benefit of increasing student access while decreasing financial burden, the SCoer! Award helped me reexamine the roles that readings and handbook content could play in my writing courses. I help my students think about and perform writing as a responsive and context-contingent art, one that can never be fully mastered and that requires ongoing learning and information-gathering. In my use now of all Open Educational Resources, I hope that I better model how, and why, in future writing situations students might seek guidance on their own from vetted writing resources like the ones they've used in my course." 

Darin Freeburg

Darin Freeburg, Ph.D.

Library and Information  Science

“If you can take just a little bit of time to look, there is so much quality information available at no cost to students. Access to high quality information is a right for college students that shouldn’t be limited to those able to pay for it.”

Linda Hazlett

Linda Hazlett, Ph.D.

Public Health

"My colleagues and I teach Epidemiology 410 every semester to around 550 students each year with increasing demand every year.  My primary goal was to decrease student cost, but I also wanted to increase student use of course content by providing a free interactive online resource."

Rebecca Janzen

Rebecca Janzen, Ph.D.

Language, Literature and Cultures

“I am interested in Open Educational Resources because they allow me to be creative with my course planning. I can select portions of a wide range of texts, from different time periods, to give my students a historical background for our class material and the most up-to-date scholarship. It also means that I can ensure that all of my students can access these resources regardless of income levels and combination of scholarships, loans, work-study or outside employment.”

Lisa Bailey

Lisa Bailey


"Book prices are through the roof, and with my 25 years of teaching experience, pedagogical and discipline-specific knowledge, and everything that the web has to offer for free, I can do better for the students than the publishing companies can. I teach about 100 students per semester, so my changing to OER will benefit hundreds of students."

Amanda Dalola

Amanda Dalola, Ph.D.

Languages, Literatures,  and Cultures

"Using OER allows me to participate in a group of international collaborators willing to test and improve teaching materials in various educational settings, tweaking activities as necessary and offering invaluable metacommentary on the adjustments they made.

As a teacher of language and linguistics, OER is the best way I know of to build a curriculum that is well curated, accessible to all students and technological platforms and adaptable in infinite ways to each and every learning group.” 

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