Open Education grants inspire creativity

open educationThanks to the hard work of Open Education Librarian Leah Hannaford, several Centralia College faculty members are creating their own open materials to share with a wider audience.

Through Hannaford’s initiative, Centralia College was awarded a grant through the Washington State Library, funded by the federal Library Services and Technology Act program. The grant-funded project enabled Hannaford to create a campus mini-grant program to encourage and support faculty members in open education work.

“There are many reasons we are pursuing open education at Centralia College,” said Sue Kennedy, dean of library and eLearning. “One important reason is to help students with textbook costs.”

According to Kennedy, Open Educational Resource (OER) materials can offset the rising cost of textbooks because they can be adapted for use in courses and distributed to students at little or no cost.

“We also feel open education is more than textbooks—open education embodies creativity and free sharing of resources and knowledge,” said Kennedy. However, one of the barriers to adopting OER has been finding quality resources. “That’s why we are very excited about the breadth of projects faculty members are pursuing as part of this grant.”

2015 Open Education Mini-grant Winners

  • Liz Frey – adopting OER in an art history course
  • Preston Kiekel – developing an open-source textbook for Math in Society
  • Otto Rabe – creating an auditing database for accounting students
  • Rosemary Reigle – writing an article on Ancient Greek literature
  • Susanne Weil– developing an anthology for non-Western World literature
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