Graceland University’s associate professor of art, Karen Gergely, applied in April 2021 and received an open educational resource grant (OER) from the Iowa Private Academic Libraries (IPAL) for her Art History Survey on Ancient to Medieval course. The Iowa Private Academic Libraries OER Project was developed to encourage professors from institutions across Iowa to adopt new materials, remix resources, create support tools, redesign courses or create their own open resources.
The OER grant gave Gergely the chance to revamp her class, traditionally there was an expensive textbook that was needed for the course, but it didn’t have all the information that she really wanted. When asked about how she would use the grant, Gergely said, “We think about art history as something that has happened already and is static, but with OER we can create a more student driven class that will cultivate curiosity. It gives me the flexibility to integrate what’s happening today to what has happened in the past and create those contemporary connections.”
Open educational resources can be any type of educational resources that are released under an open license that allows for users to have free and perpetual permission to retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the educational material. Traditional course resources are often published under restrictive copyright laws that limit their accessibility to those who can afford those materials.
With rising tuition and housing rates, the additional cost of educational materials is a barrier for students that often requires them to depend more on their student loans or even withdraw from their programs. However, the use of OER will allow for increased access for students and professors to innovate and collaborate while also resulting in a more affordable, more accessible post-secondary education experience.
Developing OER is an incredibly important component in the pursuit of accessible education and the Call for Proposals and Application Materials are now open for the IPAL second round of funding. The application deadline is November 1, 2021, and there is approximately $75,000 available. All funded proposals must use the open educational resource(s) in a credit-bearing course in the 2021-22 academic year.
To learn more about the excellent work of professor Gergely and the Graceland University Art Program visit our website here.
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