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Tuesday, October 18 • 5:30pm - 5:40pm
Developing OER Reading Lists for Stem Courses: Increasing Inclusivity, Equity, and Flexibility

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As an instructor in a STEM field, I never felt completely satisfied with any textbook for several reasons. First, most of the conventional textbooks are filled with achievements by white males and leave out the voices and achievements of many other communities. Second, as science is a field that is constantly evolving, the information for some topics was out of date before it even went to the printer. And lastly, the textbooks are prohibitively expensive for many students, especially when they only use them for three months.

Additionally, as I tried to find an OER textbook that could simply replace the conventional ones that I was using, I realized that there was nothing that was comprehensive enough for the needs of my three lab science courses. Eventually, I decided that the best option would be to create my own materials. As I didn’t have the time needed to build an entire textbook, I decided to create an OER reading list for each of my classes. Each reading list consists of links to external websites and is organized by topic to match the flow of the course.

Creating OER reading lists has had its share of challenges, but has also allowed me to make my classes more culturally relevant and has given me the flexibility to update and change my materials easily. Plus, it has saved students a lot of money!  On the challenging side, sending students off to a series of webpages can result in issues with accessibility as well the need for maintenance to check for broken links and changing content. In this presentation I will describe the process I used to create these reading lists, the benefits of having such adaptable reading material, and how I have coped with the downsides of not using a traditional textbook. Additionally, my three reading lists will be shared.

By attending this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Understand the benefits and challenges of creating an OER reading list for your courses

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Taryn Oakley

Environmental Studies & Resources Faculty, Portland Community College
I teach environmental science and I help to coordinate the Community-Based Learning program at Portland Community College. I love all things nature and I am interested in teaching about the environmental through a justice lens.

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Pre-Recorded Sessions

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Tuesday October 18, 2022 5:30pm - 5:40pm EDT
Room E
  10 min (pre-record), Lightning Talk