Third Wave of Ohio Faculty Honored for Improving and Lowering Costs of College Textbooks


COLUMBUS–Recognizing reducing textbook costs is an important way to help keep students in school, and that new digital tools make it easier than ever to lower prices while enriching learning, Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut today announced the University System of Ohio's 2011 Ohio Faculty Innovator Award winners. The annual awards recognize 10 University System of Ohio faculty or faculty teams that found creative ways to reduce the cost of course materials for their students while also improving educational content.

"Ohio's economic competiveness is built on the strength of its higher education system and keeping access to that system within reach of Ohio families," Fingerhut said. "The faculty we honor today have, with their dedication and hard work, helped make it easier for students to succeed in ways that will make them, and Ohio, more successful in today's knowledge economy."

Among the learning materials created by this year's awardees are:

  • An interactive website where students take tests and try sample problems along a guided, 18-part series of learning objectives.
  • Materials for a developmental education class that completely replaced the previously-required purchased textbook.
  • Use of a wiki where students help write and gather new content for their own learning.
  • Many materials placed online for all interested teachers to share, remix, and customize for their classrooms as an open educational resource (OER).

Faculty Innovators 2011 Award Winners

University System of Ohio faculty members were nominated by colleagues or students aware of each professor's course materials and the impact they had on student savings. The following faculty received awards after a panel of independent reviewers determined their practices were innovative and saved students money. Their work and stories provide the model to support adoption of materials like these across every institution in Ohio.

  • Shu Schiller, Ph.D., Wright State University
  • Raymond Frost, Ph.D., and Lauren Kenyo, Instructor, Ohio University
  • Donald Gabriel, Jennifer Garnes, Amanda Hanley, Jennifer Kucera and Susan Nagorney, Cuyahoga Community College
  • Cheryl Ward, Ph.D., The University of Akron
  • Lauren Cummins, Ed. D., Associate Professor, Youngstown State University
  • Anna Dollár, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Miami University
  • Anand Jeyaraj, Ph.D., Wright State University
  • Peter Anderson, Ph.D. and Katharine Flores, Ph.D., The Ohio State University
  • Jim Anderson, Clark State Community College
  • Charles Ginn, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati

Shu Schiller, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Wright State University

Dr. Schiller created an electronic course resource that included free course files, calendars, online assignments and submissions, multi-media tutorials and grade management coupled with an open textbook. These materials are for an MBA core course, Information Technology and Business Transformation. Approximately 250 students take the course annually, saving each student about $157 ($39,250).

Raymond Frost, Ph.D., Professor, Lauren Kenyo, Instructor, Ohio University

With Jacqueline Pike, Ph.D. (Now at Duquesne University) and Sara Pells Honors Tutorial Student (Ohio University)

Dr. Frost and his team developed a digital resource for Introduction to Management Information Systems. The open educational resource is an innovative and highly visual pedagogy that shortens the time to learn concepts. The students plan, build and develop proposals for iPhone applications and a website to market the apps. Students simulate market operation by purchasing each other's apps and investing in each other's companies online. They forecast, analyze sales and consumer behavior etc. Approximately 1,700 students take the class annually, saving each student $121 in textbook costs ($205,700).

Donald Gabriel, Jennifer Garnes, Amanda Hanley, Susan Nagorney, Assistant Professors, Jennifer Kucera, Adjunct Professor, Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C)

This team created a developmental math course that provides all resources necessary for students to complete the course without traditional textbooks. There are also instructor resources, which guide course implementation. As 70 percent of incoming Tri-C students test into developmental math, Tri-C offers 16-18 sections of the course each term, saving each student $172 (up to $264,000).

Cheryl Ward, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, The University of Akron

Dr. Ward developed a Collaborative Digital Content Wiki and a Social Bookmarking Collaborative site, which has been used in three courses: Introduction to Instructional Technology, Instructional Design, and Implementing and Integrating Technology. Dr. Ward maintains the site and students in the program contribute material. Cost savings is $1,000 per student over the course of the program. One hundred students take the program ($100,000).

Lauren Cummins, Ed.D., Associate Professor, Youngstown State University

Dr. Cummins uses VoiceThread and Wiki to teach Methods and Theories in Early Childhood Education, a distance learning course. Her method takes students to critical thinking and reflective engagement as they view digital imagery and read publications and resources of their choice to create a Wiki. The digital material for this graduate course saves each student $121 in textbook costs (up to $3,146).

Anna Dollár, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Miami University

Dr. Dollar co-authored an interactive, web-based Engineering Statics course as part of the Open Learning Initiative (with Paul Steif of Carnegie Mellon). Through a learning dashboard, there are 18 modules – each based on a set of learning objectives, with expository tests and interactive exercises – that record student answers and provide the results in aggregated form to instructors. This information helps instructors identify student difficulties and focus classroom activities on specific concepts and skills that need reinforcement. This course material is being used at many institutions in the system and saves each student $80-$140. It has been used by thousands of students at 13 institutions across the country, including Miami University and Sinclair Community College in Ohio (Ohio savings total more than $26,000).

Anand Jeyaraj, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Wright State University

Dr. Jeyaraj teaches three courses using digital content. In Data Structures (Manufacturing), he uses Java applets and streaming audio and videos to teach fundamentals of data structures and algorithms to about 60 students per year. In Systems Development, about 70 students each year use readings from the public domain and a simulated environment Dr. Jeyaraj creates, which deals with eliciting, modeling and reengineering business processes. His Supply Chain Information management course has a similar structure for about 40 students per year. Depending on the class, each student saves from $100-$175 in textbook costs (from $12,150-$24,150 for 170 students).

Peter Anderson, Ph.D., Professor, Katharine Flores, Ph.D., Associate Professor, The Ohio State University

Drs. Anderson and Flores have developed digital content for three engineering courses: Materials Science and Engineering (600 students per year), Preparation for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (60 students per year) and Materials Science Engineering (30 students per year). Online lectures, interactive online homework, wireless student feedback devices that permit assessment of student comprehension, and the introduction of 3D glasses to understand three-dimensional nature of crystal structures are just a few of their teaching tools. This is a $100,000 total savings to students, over traditional textbooks, each year.

Jim Anderson, Professor, Clark State Community College

Jim Anderson has created a total of 197 video lectures covering all of the math courses he teaches. He worked with a publisher to create a smaller, customized textbook that (depending on the course) is $50-$160 less expensive than a traditional textbook. Anderson teaches many non-traditional students math (including developmental) who work full time and need the flexibility of accessing coursework online. The videos are also on DVD and available in the library. Algebra I, alone, saved 1,175 students $158.70 apiece ($115,032.50). His tools are also useful for tutoring high school students and as refreshers for other academic disciplines, like nursing.

Charles Ginn, Ph.D., Field Service Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati

Dr. Ginn has been instrumental in championing the Ohio Digital Bookshelf. Additionally, he has directed research (with undergraduate researchers) that systematically analyzes and compares the accuracy, accessibility, breadth of coverage and "likability" of the information available to psychology students. His work transcends the creation of a single digital resource. Rather, it contributes to the understanding of how digital resources are used by students.

Ohio Board of Regents Contact:
Jeff Robinson
Office: 614.752.9487