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OER and Textbook Alternatives: Nov 2021 Newsletter


The first session of the OER Series was recorded and is now available for viewing.


Please provide your valuable feedback before Dec. 17, 2021, and we will send you a certificate of participation.

WCTS OER Symposium


WTCS OER Symposium logo

We can all now participate in the WTCS OER Symposium asynchronously now by watching recorded sessions (edited captions forthcoming). 

Until November 30, we can still also receive a digital badge of attendance: "be sure to complete the evaluation with your most compelling takeaway to receive credit."

Check out the presentation "A Model for OER Development: A Faculty Driven Approach" by our MATC Open Access Team members Thomas Kalluvila, Elaine Strachota, Cheryl Moser, & Thomas Haslett.

MATC OER Faculty Feature

Thomas Kalluvila

Every month, the OER Newsletter will now feature a MATC faculty member who regularly uses OER materials in the classroom. For our first Faculty Feature, Dr. Krystia Nora sat down with Dr. Thomas Kalluvila, full time faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences and Chair of the Open Access Team, for this brief interview about his experiences with OER. 

1. How did you learn about OER?

The textbook of the course (Anatomy & Physiology) that I teach costs around between $350 and $450. I regularly see that my students struggle to secure the textbook due to the high cost. It is also a barrier to get access to the required material on day one and succeed the course. In 2017, I learned about this new movement called Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education. I reached out to the faculty who use OER at WTCS and colleges across the nation and learned about OER and its role in student equity and success. I attended the Annual Open Ed Conference in 2019 where I met the OER community around the nation and inspired by their actions to reduce student debt through OER. The connections that I made the conference helped me to learn and adopt OER to my course. Now, I am offering my course using OER saving thousands of dollars every semester to our students. 

2. What led you to believe that OER is the future?

Open pedagogy is an educational method embraced by the world to provide access to knowledge to all regardless of different barriers. In 2019, UNESCO unanimously adopted recommendation on OER to encourage the adoption of quality OER. During the pandemic, we have seen how digital distance learning has played a critical role in education. The flexibility of OER in digital or printed format makes it easily accessible on day one to all students; providing equal opportunity to all students to succeed.

3. How are you promoting OER at MATC?

We have observed that different colleges in the WTCS have made significant progress in adopting OER. In order to coordinate and promote OER initiatives at MATC, we created an “Open Access Team” in June 2020 and I serve as the chair of the team since June 2020. Our President, Dr. Vicki Martin, has officially inaugurated the initiative during the MATC day in Fall 2020. The team has made significant progress during the past one year with the help of pathway OER facilitators. In addition to individual level faculty support, the team has planned college wide events such as OERseries and OERfest in coming years to promote the adoption of OER.

4. What is a highlight of your experience teaching with OER?

-Reduce the cost of textbook to students

-Easy access to students

-Access to study materials to all students on day one

-Updated and advanced medical information without waiting for the edition to change


If you would like to ask Dr. Kalluvila more about his work with OER, he can be contacted at

OER Opportunities


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Call for Proposals - Iowa OER Summit (March 1-3)

The Iowa Open Education Resources Team (Iowa OER) is now accepting proposals for the 2022 OER Summit

Submission Deadline: November 30. Questions? Contact Kyle Collins.


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OpenSkill Impact Grant Opportunity

"OpenSkill is supporting institutions to implement high quality OER, and providing up to $10,000 in grant funding, through the spring, summer, and fall of 2022. The team at Arizona State University will be providing services ranging from technology integration to learning design to course development in LMSs. Faculty will work with OpenSkill to bundle active learning tools (assignments using OpenSkill Tools) and curated OER (Content Packages in five disciplines) to use as textbook replacements at scale." READ MORE


Project Z-Degree Project Manager

"Project Z-Degree will fulfill the intent of the Idaho Legislature and Office of the Governor through the collaborative creation of at least one associate degree at each of the four Idaho community colleges. This project is seeking a qualified project manager to lead this effort. The person in this position will be leading the statewide Z-degree effort for all of Idaho, coordinating the work of four community colleges. It is a remote position that goes through June 2024, with possible extension. The position will remain open until filled." LEARN MORE


"Eā€¯ffordability+ Summit

Call for Proposals - "E”ffordability+ Summit (February 22-24, 2022)
"The “E”ffordability+ Summit Planning Committee is excited to share the call for proposals for the upcoming virtual event on February 22-24, 2022. READI (Reaching Equity, Accessibility, Diversity and Inclusion), Set, Open! The committee hopes that you and your colleagues will be willing to share your hard work in adopting and advancing OER and education, lowering costs, and making resources READI for our students. Proposals are are due by January 3, 2022. View the call for proposals. Questions may be sent to"

OER Book Features


Cover image for Introduction to Narrative Journalism

Introduction to Narrative Journalism by Benjamin Wielechowski was published by the University of Michigan-Dearborn - their first original open text, According to the description, "This textbook was created for beginning narrative journalists exploring the craft. It is inspired by the Narrative Journalism course (JASS/COMP/ENGL 310) at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and it is intended to be used as a guide and handbook. It is structured around the five elements of fiction and provides both instruction and student examples of various narrative journalism projects."










"University of Cape Town Professor Maria Keet of the Department of Computer Science has won the university’s Open Textbook Award for her 'exemplary resource,' An Introduction to Ontology Engineering. It is her first open textbook, and a world-first textbook on the subject for computer scientists. The work was praised by the award committee for its 'localisation, technical innovation, accessibility, and the integration of assessments and other ancillary components.'"


Did You Know?

Recently Published OER Research

Bol L., Esqueda M. C., Ryan, D., Kimmel, S. C. (2021). A comparison of academic outcomes in courses taught with open educational resources and publisher content. Educational Researcher. doi:10.3102/0013189X211052563


Fortney, A. (2021). OER textbooks versus commercial textbooks: Quality of student learning in psychological statistics. Locus: The Seton Hall Journal of Undergraduate Research, 4(4).


Horton, I., & Rustici, M. (2021). Creating open and free medical education resources. Academic Medicine, 96(11S), S186-S187. doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000004328


Kandiero, A. (2022). Adoption of open education resources at a higher education institution using explanatory sequential mixed methods research design. In P. Ngulube (Eds.), Handbook of research on mixed methods research in information science (pp. 575-601). IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-8844-4.ch027


Scott, C., & Jaramillo Cherrez, N. (2022). Supporting language learning with OERs and open-authoring tools. In A. El Shaban, & R. Abobaker (Eds.), Policies, practices, and protocols for the implementation of technology into language learning (pp. 186-198). IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-8267-1.ch010


Tang, H., & Bao, Y. (2021). Latent class analysis of K-12 teachers’ barriers to implementing OER. Distance Education, 1-17. doi:10.1080/01587919.2021.1986371



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