OER Success Stories at Queen's

Open Educational Resources at Queen's save students a total of approximately $630,000 per year, according to estimates by their authors.

The recipients of funding (issued by the Open and Affordable Course Materials Working Group, supported by the Provost's Advisory Committee on Teaching and Learning), shared these additional benefits of creating new open textbooks:

Faculty Perspective

From an instructor standpoint, it is very helpful to be able to create a custom textbook with the flexibility of being able to choose, revise, and edit content to meet course needs. I have been so inspired by connecting with other instructors who are also using open textbooks internationally - there are many exceptional scholars working on open content, and the rigor of available materials is continually increasing.

- Dr. Meghan Norris, creator of an open textbook for PSYC100: Principles of Psychology

Open Education Resources has created a space for teaching and learning in the spirit of the public good, removing paywalls to create common access to pedagogical spaces.

- Dr. Theodore Christou, creator of an open textbook for Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education

One of the benefits of creating the open text is enhancing student learning: In the classroom, our textbook will enable us to move beyond simple content delivery and use valuable instructional time to address more subtle and complex topics, often in a small group setting.

- Dr. Peter MacPherson, creator of an open QPeds Pediatrics textbook

This also created an experiential learning opportunity: The $7,500 grant I received towards creating my new textbook has given me the opportunity to hire two students that have previously taken the course with me so that I may benefit from their insights and develop a text that better supports the active-learning elements of my course. 

Dr. Ryan Martin, creator of an open textbook for Introductory Physics: Building Models to Describe Our World

The ultimate goal is to create a dynamic, living, open-access ‘textbook’ as a primary educational resource for qualitative health research courses at Queen’s University – a comprehensive source of key materials and training resources for students entering this research domain, and one which will be dynamic, mutable, and responsive to new developments and innovations in this rapidly changing arena.

- Dr. Bradley Stoner and Dr. Colleen Davison, creators of an Open Education Resource for Qualitative Health Research at Queen’s University

Benefits include addressing a gap in the textbook market: Psychology undergraduate programs are some of the most popular undergraduate degree programs, yet some students report not immediately seeing ways in which their training can translate to the workforce (Borden & Rajecki, 2000).

Dr. Meghan Norris, creator of an open textbook for PSYC204: Applications and Careers in the Psychological Sciences

Student Perspective

With textbooks being as expensive as they are, the costs pile up even more. Though most everyone feels the strain of this cost, it affects some more than others, which means that education is not as inclusive as it should be. Grants provided by Queen's enable textbooks to be created and distributed online at a low cost.

- Olivia Woodman

I think that creating more open access resources gives students a unique opportunity for professors and students to collaborate and clarify course concepts from different perspectives. Not only do OER’s create resources while training students, but they allow former students to actually make an impact in the course for future students. 

- Emma Neary

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