Ingrid Petersen, director of the Kansas Algebra Program, was presented the 2019 Student Senate Textbook Affordability Award by Noah Ries, KU Student Body President and Carl Lejuez, Interim Provost and EVC. The senate recognized Ingrid for her hard work to adopt open educational resources (OER) in her College Algebra classes, saving students a total of $270,000 in textbook costs this year, by presenting her a plaque in coordination with the Provost at their last Full Senate meeting of the semester. She was also recognized at the senate’s monthly Kansas Board of Regents Meeting as a model for best practices in adoption of OER.
Open Educational Resources was an 2018-2019 initiative for the KU Student Senate to bring down the costs of textbooks for students. OERs are openly licensed textbooks that are free for students to use when assigned by their professor as required course material.
Responding to the increased costs of textbooks, KU Libraries have expanded the long-time advocacy for open access into educational resources by implementing an open textbook program at KU. Through contributions by the Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright and private gifts from KU Libraries’ Parents’ Campaign, the initiative has already funded several grants to adopt, adapt or create OER to replace commercial texts in KU classrooms. The goal of the OER Grant Initiative is to encourage instructor experimentation and innovation in finding new, better, and less costly ways to deliver learning materials to their students through open educational resources in KU classrooms. Ingrid received a grant in 2018 to help implement the use of Openstax textbooks in her courses.