Textbook Heroes

Drew Vartia

Assistant Teaching Professor

Drew Vartia

Student impact:

Adopting an OER means my students get a free, reliable, and lasting online resource. It’s not a high-cost choice between education and food, auto repair, or whatever else life throws a student’s way. It's not a shot-in-the-dark search on YouTube to find the right information. It’s not a cumbersome five pound book they discard after they become tired of moving it from apartment to apartment. It’s not a textbook subscription that runs out just before they need a refresher for a different class or a professional exam. It’s a free, reliable, and lasting online resource; there's tremendous value in that.

The no-cost and flexible textbook freed me to design the course I want. OER adoption has translated to a more customized — and more enjoyable — course. The students really bought in, too: The class could incorporate a diversity of materials, and students didn’t feel that they had paid a lot of money for a resource they used only a fraction of the time.

Forward thinking:

CHEM 150 was a great opportunity to try OERs, and I’m hopeful and excited to see OER adoption expand to other courses. My involvement with OER this academic year has revolved around adoption. I'm looking forward to taking the next step to either customize the textbook or contribute some of these recently developed materials to the community.