August 19, 2020

Teaching Without a Traditional Textbook

Room: ESLC 046


Record numbers of faculty have introduced digital content options into their courses since going online in the spring of 2020. Many of the changes to course structure and increased use of Canvas as well as alternative text options are here to stay. Learn how to ditch that traditional textbook and make use of open educational resources (OER). Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are free to use, adapt, and redistribute. With the cost of college education increasing, it is more important than ever to include freely accessible course materials for students whenever possible. Come and learn about how this has been done successfully in both large and small courses with the added benefit of increased academic freedom for the instructor. We will provide examples and resources and explain how to apply for a grant to adopt, adapt, or create open course materials. Keep your course content current and get started with freely accessible materials today!

*Participants will learn how to find, adapt, or create open course materials.
*Participants will see examples of the use and integration of freely accessible materials in Canvas courses, brainstorm ideas for your own course, and identify resources to aid transition away from the traditional textbook.

Lisa GabbertJen Burbank


Jen Burbank is a Lecturer in the Biology department. She teaches large sections of Biology 1010 and recently designed, created the curriculum, and taught a Genetics and Society course for the first time. Jen has used an OER textbook in Biology 1010 for years, and is committed to providing quality materials to students at no cost. She curated the learning materials for student use in Genetics and Society from a variety of freely accessible sources and learned a lot in the process. She is dedicated to improving student experience and that includes providing students with current, engaging learning materials. As a recent OER grant recipient, she is familiar with the application process and merits of this program at USU.

Stephanie Western

Lisa Gabbert

OER Program Manager

Stephanie Western is the OER Program Manager at USU Libraries. She is committed to the use and development of OER to reduce the burden of rising course materials costs for students and to encourage academic freedom for instructors. She recognizes the connection between OER use and diversity, equity, and inclusion principles and goals. Stephanie is knowledgeable about OER grant proposals to adopt, adapt, or create open course materials for use in USU courses.