Much Ado About Open Ed, et al. in a Minority-Majority College: Faculty-Authored OER with Student Content




Ross-Nazzal, Jim

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Texas Digital Library


I’d like to discuss minority voices in OER, Open Pedagogy, and conflicting priorities. I’ve authored an OER US history textbook with student content. Students report that they prefer such an OER textbook because it gives them a nudge to perform better, study harder, think more critically. I work at a minority-majority college, so those student voices are of underrepresented students. I allow my students to write how the spirit moves them (within certain parameters) and so they tackle issues that interests them through their lenses, offering otherwise unheard-of perspectives. Perspectives that my current students enjoy reading.

But this goes beyond OER to Open Pedagogy. That OER textbook with student content is used in my classes as the course textbook, to include the footnote material as springboards to new research, which is Open Pedagogy. Students report greater interest and greater self-worth.

One messy problem we have is the so-called Equitable Access. Certain elements within the college are pushing EA, which runs counter to OER. We have departments that are 100% OER, yet if the college adopts EA, students will be forced to pay for OER in order to subsidize the cost of the dangerously expensive math and science textbooks. This is a fight we cannot afford to lose for our students and the faculty who author and use OER. My concern is that if students are forced to pay for OER, then fewer students and faculty will use OER. OER and Equitable Access have conflicting priorities.


TCDL 2023 Session 2D, Wednesday, 5/17/2023, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm | Moderated by Gabrielle Hernandez, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley | Lightning Talk | Research, ScholComm, & Digital Humanities