Campuses recognize faculty for promoting open, affordable educational resources

People shaking hands around table
Credit: Fauxels

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Four Penn State campuses — Abington, Berks, Lehigh Valley and Mont Alto — awarded Penn State’s inaugural Open and Affordable Educational Resources (OAER) Champion Award during the spring 2022 semester. A collaboration between Penn State University Libraries and the University-wide OAER Working Group, the OAER Champion Award is a pilot initiative recognizing excellence, innovation and impact in OAER at Penn State campuses.

The following faculty members were recognized for their successful OAER initiatives.

  • Kevin Hsu, assistant professor of clinical psychology at Penn State Abington, has spent the last two years transitioning all of his courses to open and affordable course materials and promoting this work across the campus. He collaborated with librarians and instructional designers to find both open textbooks and open-source software and has made it a point to highlight the importance and benefits of open and affordable course materials to both students and faculty. His work has resulted in a more positive and equitable learning experience for all students.
  • Lolita Paff, associate professor of business economics at Penn State Berks and an early adopter of open textbooks, has used OpenStax books for her ECON 102 (Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy) classes for many years. Since the campus began collecting statistics in fall 2018, 322 students have collectively saved an estimated $19,001 in her zero-textbook-cost course. This also has lowered the barrier to students’ access and use of the textbook.
  • Larry Musolino, an instructor in mathematics at Penn State Lehigh Valley, authored an openly licensed textbook for MATH 110, Techniques of Calculus I, through Penn State’s Affordable Course Transformation (ACT) program. In 2021 he received a Pennsylvania Grant for Open and Affordable Learning (PA GOAL Grant) to co-author an open calculus workbook with Alison Bonner, assistant teaching professor of mathematics at Penn State Lehigh Valley. By promoting his work to other Penn State mathematics faculty, Musolino hopes to facilitate adoption of OER in math courses across the University. Other venues in which he has shared his work include the national Open Education Conference. He serves as a member of Penn State’s OAER Instructional Advisory Group.
  • Jacob Moore, associate professor of engineering at Penn State Mont Alto, was recognized for his work to support and advance open educational resources (OER). He has advocated for OER and spoken to Penn State faculty at University-wide events, published journal articles on the subject, and presented on the topic at national conferences.

For more information, visit the OER website.