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Health Sciences Faculty Take the Lead on Open Educational Resources

Faculty members in the Department of Health Sciences are working to redesign courses to use open educational resources (OER) as a part of UM System President Mun Choi’s system-wide initiative to help reduce the cost of course materials for students.

Faculty for the four courses in the health science and public health programs were selected to participate based on course size and demand, and their reputations for excellence in teaching. They will be evaluating and developing their own materials from a variety of sources to eliminate the need for traditional text books in those courses.  The move will save SHP students more than $350,000 when the new courses debut in Spring 2018.

Dean Kristofer Hagglund said the OER initiative is a good match for health sciences. “The health science knowledge base is changing more rapidly than traditional course materials can keep up. The Open Educational Resources initiative gives our faculty the opportunity to redesign some high-enrollment courses in a way that keeps materials costs down and keeps the learning environment fresh and engaging for students. By taking a team approach to sourcing the best open materials, our faculty will have the flexibility they need to place current practice, policy and trends in the context of history and theory, and students will be better prepared to critically evaluate the changing landscape of health care as they pursue their educations and careers.”