Acknowledging Another Successful Cohort of Library Faculty Fellows
September 6, 2019
In January, the Drexel Libraries appointed its second cohort of Library Faculty Fellows. The Faculty Fellows Program was launched in 2018 as an innovative way to extend the Libraries’ human capacity to advance its strategic initiatives.
This year, a total of five Drexel faculty members were selected for the program. This article highlights the three Fellows appointed to explore ways to promote and incorporate Open Educational Resources (OERs) in coursework at Drexel. They completed the following projects in June:
- Douglas H. Baird, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of Curricular Innovation and Student Success, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies of the College of Medicine, served as an advocate for Open Textbooks on campus. Dr. Baird raised awareness among faculty of the high costs of traditional textbooks and the benefits of assigning Open Educational Resources (OERs). He shared how these materials – as well as other resources that are no cost to students – can save students money. He also published a review of an open textbook from the Open Textbook Network (OTN), and he shared his experiences and the benefits of OERs through presentations and discussions with Drexel faculty, staff and administrators.His work continues with Lloyd Akert, one of the 2018 Library Faculty Fellows to engage the Faculty Senate in promoting greater adoption of OERs in course designs.
- Antonios Kontsos, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of Theoretical & Applied Mechanics Group (TAMG), College of Engineering, worked with two PhD students in his department to design a new freshmen engineering course that utilizes Open Educational Resources (OERs). The course (ENGR 113: Introduction to Digital Design & Advanced Manufacturing), is one of several sections in the spring freshman design course sequence. Dr. Kontsos and his students created a course curriculum that utilizes OERs for two key reasons: to create effective learning habits early on and because this particular module relates to a highly interdisciplinary field for which a single textbook simply does not exist.
- Vito Gulla, Adjunct Professor, Department of English & Philosophy, College of Arts & Sciences, wrote an Open Textbook for composition classes, which includes over 100 writing exercises designed to help students master various aspects of writing, from conquering structure, style, research or argument. Professor Gullo also hosted several focus groups for faculty from the College of Arts & Sciences to assess interest in and awareness of OER materials.
In August, Professors Baird, Kontsos and Gulla met with the Dean of Libraries, Danuta A. Nitecki, to review their projects as a group.
“Our ambitions for the Library Faculty Fellows program were magnificently achieved through the work of these three faculty. They took very different creative approaches to engage faculty with the Libraries’ strategic directions to help contain the cost of higher education for students, while inspiring them to develop their learning habits to strengthen connections to scholarship,” Dean Nitecki notes in applauding their collaboration with the Libraries and their contributions to the University’s teaching efforts.
The Libraries is planning a public panel discussion with these Fellows in October during Open Access Week. To review the fellows’ complete reports, visit the Library Faculty Fellows page on the Libraries’ website.