Written by Lilli Keiper
Three UIndy faculty have been selected to receive the PALSave Open Educator Award from the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI). PALSave is funded through grant support from Lilly Endowment, Inc. and combats the rising costs of textbooks by supporting faculty adoption and creation of open and affordable course materials.
According to Elizabeth Kiggins, one of UIndy’s recipients, “Access to Open Educational Resources (OER) is critical to our students, providing not only a relevant but also an affordable alternative to what can be purchased through normal channels. Students, with ever increasing financial stressors, deserve an affordable option. With OER, they have an option that provides access to a wealth of educational resources and also enhances their learning experiences. I have always viewed one of my primary roles at UIndy as an advocate for our faculty in the integration of instructional technologies into their teaching. PALSave has allowed me to promote these vital resources to our faculty while giving them the ability to provide additional resources for their students and perhaps to become an author for the first time.”
Elizabeth Kiggins, Instructional Technologist and Assistant Professor at the UIndy School of Education, along with Dr. Laura Merrifield Wilson, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Dr. Elizabeth Ziff, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the UIndy Community Research Center, have been chosen due to their innovation and excellence in support of higher education, textbook affordability, and student success.
“It is very humbling and an honor to be recognized with this award. Embracing OER is a tremendous opportunity for us as educators and a great asset to our students, so it is a true win-win in higher education,” said Wilson.
As part of the PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning Program, these individuals have been key players in the creation and adoption of Open Educational Resources, or OER—a move that reduces costs for students, improves access to required texts, and increases student success and retention.
“I am committed to making my classes as equitable as possible and one way I can achieve this is by using OER to ensure all students can access the materials they need,” said Ziff, “It was wonderful to have the opportunity to participate in the PALSave program, which provided a solid understanding of the wide range of OER available and taught me how to properly and effectively integrate these sources into my classes.”