Meet the faculty that have adopted OER at the University of Delaware!
Dr. Anu Sivaraman is the Assistant Professor of Marketing and Faculty Director of Assessment in the Alfred Lerner College of Business.
Dr. Sivaraman holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in statistics from Madras Christian College, India. She received her Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Houston in 2004. Dr. Sivaraman’s research focuses on how counterfactual thinking can be used for understanding and instigating changes in consumption patterns. Her other areas of research include behavioral decision theory, and she has won numerous awards for her teaching and contributions to her field.
Currently, she teaches Introduction to Marketing, as well as Marketing Strategy.
Dr. Sivaraman’s contributions to open education stemmed from a concern that her student’s textbooks were too expensive. At the time of inception, she had about 600 students in her course, 200 in-person, and the cheapest option for the class textbook was over $60. “The textbooks weren’t helping,” she said.
Recognizing the prohibitive cost as a barrier, Dr. Sivaraman embedded her own materials, readings, videos and other resources as part of her core modules. “The idea is to keep the chapters current but generic, so other people can use them,” she said. She enlisted the help of an assistant to bring her vision to life, who she credits with the final result: a colorful, easy-to-navigate textbook with pictures, videos, and other relevant multimedia that is available to all students enrolled in the courses. It’s also user-friendly for the instructor, as well; Dr. Sivaraman is able to “rearrange sections [of the textbooks] to tell the story…the class needs.”
In her search for free materials for her class to use, Dr. Sivaraman found two marketing textbooks, neither of which was perfect for her needs. She took the best of both, effectively creating a custom-made product, as well as modules that are vivid, engaging, and share the best of the information she’s discovered.
Based on the success of her textbooks, Dr. Sivaraman strongly encourages faculty to engage with open education resources, stressing not only the usefulness to students, but to instructors. The result has been a resource flexible enough to adapt readily to student needs, and easy for any instructor to tailor-make to a course.
For more information on sourcing and using Open Source materials, please contact the library!
Dr. Eric Greska is an Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware, in the Department of Kinesiology & Applied Physiology. His research interests focus on the reduction of lower-extremity injuries and the improvement of physical performance through interventions, as well as the use of technology in assessing post-surgical patient outcomes.
He teaches Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology 1 & 2, as well as Basic Concepts in Kinesiology.
Dr. Greska’s contributions to open education resources include a full sixteen-module Anatomy and Physiology course, as well as a lab reference (both are housed on OER Commons.) He utilized the library to find fair use and creative commons images for his resource, as well as other resources that students could access freely. His experience with using these resources has generally been a positive one that he described as “a huge undertaking, but very beneficial.” He also hugely credits colleague Dr. Sheara Williamson, a fellow assistant professor in the department, for her contributions to the creation of these resources at every stage.
When asked how these resources have enhanced his teaching Dr. Greska was enthusiastic, describing being able to adjust materials based on focus; instructors are able to focus on what is necessary and important for their courses. There’s also the convenience of embedding materials in Canvas, where students can always access these materials without leaving the site.
The main benefit, of course, is a reduction in student cost. “Students don’t have any barriers,” Greska said. “[there’s] no fear of students being left behind because they can’t afford something.”
Before and After
“Grade-wise, we have seen an improvement.” Dr. Greska has been assessing each course, and grades have improved. This initiative has also lead to the library’s investing in more resources that students can use for free: for example, interactive video material from Jove, and Primal pictures. “The library had it a long time, but it wasn’t really used.” Greska said. “It’s fantastic material.”
For faculty members who are considering OER, Dr. Greska mentioned that there are a lot of resources out there; “You don’t have to pick a specific one…you aren’t constrained by just a textbook…we’ve also gone to other resources.”
Because of his positive experience with this work, Dr. Greska encourages other faculty members to consider using OER in their teaching.
“You do have to invest time,” Greska said. “But, it ties you back to the material and what you want students to learn…you are guiding what your students are learning, and you can set these outcomes by building up your own materials.”
Are you a faculty member or an UD educator who has successfully utilized open resources in teaching? Submit an email to email@example.com if you’d like to tell us about it, and be featured in our faculty spotlight!