Bauer undergraduate students, Academic Support Assistants (ASA), volunteers and faculty members attended OpenStax Creator Fest 2019 at Rice University to learn from the open textbook publisher, open pedagogy advocates and practitioners.
Textbook prices are an important consideration for students, faculty and staff. Open Educational Resources (OER) can ease the financial burden on students while offering quality content in user-friendly formats. The OpenStax Creator Fest conference offered useful information for a wide range of stakeholders who attended the four-day event.
Attendees learned about the process of working with and developing Open Educational Resources as part of their research into open resources.
“We have a successful Open Educational Resources Program at the University of Houston Libraries and as we move to adopt them for my class in the near future, the conference came at the right time to connect with other faculty,” Instructional Assistant Professor Emese Felvegi said. “OpenStax has been very successful in reaching half the U.S. colleges, we have definitely learned a lot from the guest speakers about what they do in the classroom.”
The sessions ranged from keynotes to practical tips to creator workshops where participants created supplements for their Open Textbooks. One of the sessions most of the Bauer participants attended was led by Captain Andrew Wilhelm from The United States Military Academy discusses the Thayer method and ways to engage students in the classroom.
“I wanted to take in everything about open education resources. The talk I attended by one of the pioneers of open education resources inspired and empowered me,” Finance Instructional Assistant Professor Olivia Miljanic said. “It reaffirmed my commitment to equity, inclusion, and true equal opportunity of education, financial and emotional”, she noted. “I also learned about specific resources that facilitate the development and delivery of online courses.”
WHAT STUDENTS SAY
“OpenStax is an incredible initiative to bring innovation and resources to all students without boundaries or barriers. I hope to learn more about this altruistic movement and what kind of change it can make to open education.” – Management Information Systems sophomore and Bauer Tutoring Services Academic Support Assistant Robert McCarn
“It was great to connect with other educators and glean from their own experiences designing a course, implementing lesson plans, and working with students individually. It was very refreshing to engage with a community that encourages sharing of resources, rather than competition and recognition. In this way, educators and students benefit from a collective pool of materials from diverse sources.” – Management senior, Bauer Tutoring Services Academic Support Assistant, Lois Hamburger
“Open Stax showed me unique behind the scenes view of what our Professors put into lectures, homework, test reviews, and any other class materials given to us by them. It makes me appreciative of all the hard work. Going to OpenStax has also granted me a unique skill set of being able to create a class or lesson from open source materials.” – Business minor Lilliana Olmos