Libraries Announce New Class of Open Education Fellows

Open educational fellows graphic with portraits of each recipient.

The University of Texas Libraries announces awardees for the Open Education Fellows Program.

This year’s fellows are Professor Chikako H. Cooke (Asian Studies), Professor Midori Tanaka, (Asian Studies), Dr. Simon J. Brandl (Marine Science), Dr. Jordan Casey (Marine Science), Dr. Sarah Jey Whitehead (Spanish and Portuguese), and Dr. Melissa D Murphy (Spanish and Portuguese). 

Fellows are chosen for efforts to adopt or adapt existing open educational resources (OER) to replace commercial materials and/or those who author and openly license their own course materials. 

The average price of a new print textbook averages around $65 at The University of Texas at Austin (per the University Co-op), but electronic resources and access codes can often cost students much more. Open Education Fellows explore strategies to save students enrolled in their courses thousands of dollars each semester by switching from commercial textbooks and other materials to OER and other freely available resources. 

The open licenses assigned to OER allow students to access course content immediately and at no cost. Beyond this benefit, these open licenses also permit instructors to make copies and customize materials in ways that better serve students’ interests and their learning outcomes. 

The Libraries will provide Fellows with professional development opportunities to support their activities in creating OER as well as stipends to offset the time and effort that we recognize these activities take. In addition to OER creation, Fellows will share their experiences by participating in Libraries’ events and collect anonymous student perceptions or outcomes data to understand the impact of adopting OER and other no-cost materials in their courses.

The Libraries congratulates fellows on their placement and look forward to their work. Their efforts will contribute to the open educational ecosystem here on campus, as well as positively impact student academic success.