Contact the whole team at email@example.com
Name: Amanda Hurford
Title: Scholarly Communications Director, PALSave Chair
Institution: Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI)
Email: amanda at palni.edu
What do you do in your current position? My job is to develop and support scholarly communications initiatives of the PALNI-supported institutions.
Why are you interested in affordable learning? As a librarian working in the scholarly communications field, I’m becoming more and more familiar with how the publishing landscape is broken in ways that simply don’t make sense. I very much like the idea of empowering educators to teach what and how they want by adapting open textbooks, which are licensed in a way that invites customization…or even to write their own textbook!
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about OER so far? I’ve been very surprised by the community surrounding the open education movement. This is a group of professionals willing to collaborate, share, and support colleagues participating the open environment.
Name: Erin Milanese
Title: Head of Learning Technologies, Affordable Learning Project Coordinator
Institution: Goshen College, Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI)
What do you do in your current position? I help faculty integrate technology into their courses. This includes instructional design for online and hybrid courses and providing technical and instructional support for the LMS, our iPad initiative, and other educational technology tools. For PALNI, I provide project support for the grant-based PALSave program.
Why are you interested in affordable learning? The cost of education continues to rise, but textbooks and course material costs are one cost we can control. And, using open or low-cost materials helps ensure that all our students show up to class the first day prepared.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about OER so far? Over 500 textbooks are currently indexed in the Open Textbook Library catalog!
Name: Caitlin Balgeman
Title: Electronic Resource Management Librarian
Institution: Marian University
Email: cbalgeman at marian.edu
What do you do in your current position? I manage and troubleshoot electronic resources, oversee ILL, and work as a liaison with faculty members.
Why are you interested in affordable learning? As someone who hears from students a lot and was recently a student, I see a definite need for providing quality, low-cost options for faculty and students so that students can succeed without jeopardizing their financial stability.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about OER so far? The sheer amount of options available! Also, the creativity and organization of OERs—it makes perfect sense to have a music appreciation text where you can read a passage on a piece and then immediately click a link to watch a video of a performance. I love that OERs leverage the great teaching of professors around the country and the world and bring it to learners everywhere.
Name: Rebecca Johnson
Title: Virtual Instruction & Emerging Technologies Librarian
Institution: Manchester University
Email: rejohnson at manchester.edu
What do you do in your current position? At the campus level, I work remotely from Louisiana providing skype-style library instruction, teach library designated courses, and offer support for Manchester’s learning management system. At the PALNI level, I chair the Instructional Technology Advisory Group where we recognize deep collaboration opportunities with librarians, information technologists, instructional technologists, and faculty in various areas of education technology.
Why are you interested in affordable learning? As indicated in my PALNI work above, there is a connection between instructional technology and affordable education initiatives. Accessibility within a learning management system for open education resources is a topic we will be looking into as this PALSave program emerges.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about OER so far? I’ve understood for quite some time the beauty of Creative Commons licensing for image/media resources. Thinking of OER in a similar way has given me the awareness and understanding that these open resources allow for so much more flexibility to be able to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute time and time again. Who wouldn’t want that?
Name: Olivia MacIsaac
Title: Scholarly Communications Associate
Institution: Butler University
Email: omacisaa at butler.edu
What do you do in your current position? I help maintain the institutional repository, Digital Commons @ Butler University by digitizing print materials, performing copyright clearance on previously published work, supporting library sponsored digital initiative services for faculty and staff.
Why are you interested in affordable learning? The costs of textbooks can add up quickly for students in almost every major and these costs can have a negative impact on a student’s success. It is essential that we share information in a more equitable way, so students are not barred from the education they deserve.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about OER so far? The work surrounding affordable education has been happening for years now and it’s exciting to see curated online resources like OER Commons, OpenStax, Open Textbook Library, and MERLOT. These resources make it easier to search for open education resources that can be reuse, remix, or revise.
Name: Heather Myers
Title: Public Services Librarian
Institution: Anderson University
Email: hnmyers at anderson.edu
What do you do in your current position? The short version is I’m in charge of circulation (on campus and ILL) and the student workers.
Why are you interested in affordable learning? I’ve been working closely with student workers for most of my time in libraries. A lot of the students I’ve worked with struggle to find the money to cover their college expenses. I believe that finding ways of helping students afford college should be important to everyone in higher ed.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about OER so far? What has amazed me is how quickly the dollar amount saved adds up when an open book is adopted.
Name: Jennifer Raye
Title: Scholarly Communication Librarian
Institution: Butler University
Email: jraye at butler.edu
What do you do in your current position? As the Scholarly Communication Librarian, I promote and grow our institutional repository, Digital Commons @ Butler University, assist with copyright issues, and contribute to digital humanities endeavors by the Butler University community. As a member of the PALSave System Leaders, I plan on advocating for OER across the PALNI campuses and support our open textbook adoptions and creations.
Why are you interested in affordable learning? Each year, attending college becomes more and more expensive. Affordable learning is one way libraries and faculty members can help control and lower costs for their students.
What is the most interesting fact or tidbit you’ve learned about OER so far? Affordable learning is not just using free textbooks. It promotes the use of openly-licensed materials, allows faculty to create their own texts, filling a gap in disciplines, and gives students access to their materials on the first day of their classes, all of which promote learning and open knowledge.
Name: Dr. Tim Ziebarth
Title: Executive Dean, The School of Professional and Online Education
Institution: Grace College and Seminary
Email: tjziebarth at grace.edu
What do you do in your current position? Oversee adult, professional, and online education
Why are you interested in affordable learning? Provides access and convenience to learners that allows faculty to design course content that is current and relevant.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about OER so far? The lack of awareness by the educational community. Albeit it is growing, but much more work needs to be done in this domain. Also, the recognition that traditional textbooks have become significant barriers to some learners so that they forgo the purchasing of books, accepting a lower grade in the course or in some instances, forgo taking the course due to the cost of traditional textbooks.