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Kathy Fuller

Kathy Fuller picture

The cost of a quality education is on the rise!  In order to help alleviate some of the financial pressure on students, I decided to CALM down textbook expenses.  I involved my students immediately, to provide information on what sources for required texts they have used in the past, or are currently using. With this in mind, I located a variety of free reading materials, and additional resources to enhance learning in my Human Development 497: Applied Research in Human Development courses. I grouped these resources into the following categories:  1. Tutorials; 2. Simulations; 3. Open Texts; 4. Lessons; 5. TED Talks; 6. YouTube Videos; and 7. Surveys.  In addition, I created a graph to organize which CALM resource was associated with each topic presented in class.   These resources were then uploaded to my Cougar Course online classroom.

The result was an estimated savings of $157.32 for each student.  With 67 students currently enrolled in my two sections of HD 497, that resounds in a whopping total savings of $10,540.44!  Students clap when they hear this fun fact!

HD 102: Preparatory Skills for HD Majors

Motivation

  1. First and foremost to save the students money. With tuition on the constant rise, students appreciate any financial help along the way.
  2. I find it difficult to find one textbook that covers all the topics necessary for any course. This begins the process of requiring multiple textbooks, raising prices for education once again.
  3. I think that providing a variety of activities which engage various students’ learning styles (ie. visual, auditory) and intelligence preferences (ie. musical, verbal, kinesthetic-tactile) support meeting the needs of ALL students. Finding appropriate and stimulating activities (ie. career games, simulations, videos, readings from the web). Online selection is the largest available from one general resource.
  4. Using resources on the web rather than one textbook insures that the information students are being given is the most up to date research and cutting edge trends.
  5. Having all materials and activities accessible in Cougar Courses assists in tracking when a student has completed a requirement in the class.

Student Feedback

I created an informal feedback method to procure student feedback. I asked the following questions orally in class and recorded the resultant number of responses (54 out of 60 students were in attendance): 

  1. Do you like having activities and resources from the web?
      • 53-Yes
      • 0-No
      • 1-Abstained
  2. Do you feel these activities and resources assist in learning concepts in class?
      • 54-Yes
      • 0-No
      • 0-Abstained
  3. Would you prefer to have a required textbook?
      • 2-Yes
      • 52-No
      • 0-Abstained

Reflection

The unexpected results/surprises I experienced Included:

  1. Surprise that so many OER materials were easily accessible on the web.
  2. How easy it was to create a system for weekly routines.
  3. I was pleasantly surprised that additional resources seemed to make learning easier for many students.

The students were generally all ecstatic about not being required to purchase yet another expensive textbook for one class. I think what I plan to do is to continue to be open to innovative approaches and support for students considering what career path to take and how to approach that path most effectively by applying information obtained during our course.