Do you have a teacher or colleague who has creatively implemented, adapted, or created open educational resources in their class? Do you have a teacher or colleague who has authored and shared high quality open educational resources? Consider nominating them for campus wide recognition!
2023 Open Educator Award Winner
Mike Klymkowsky, professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, is honored this year for his co-authorship of open textbooks for introductory and organic chemistry. Both open educational resources (OER) have been the subject of several research studies that have shown improvement of student learning due to the adoption of these texts. Klymkowsky estimates that students have saved upwards of $5 million on textbook costs as a result of these OER.
Professor Klymkowsky, a dedicated teacher, reflects: “As I have come to learn something about teaching at the college level, I have embraced the idea that the goal of the teacher is to help students understand and appreciate core principles, the skill of following the logic of an argument, and the ability to identify areas of confusion, inconsistency, or missing detail.” It is this goal that drove him to author texts that are more conceptually focussed in order to provide a coherent narrative and understanding for student application. Influenced by his own educational experiences and dissatisfaction with memorization-centric materials and rote activities, Klymkowsky’s texts are relevant and engaging to students and exclude distracting or unnecessary content. His achievements have earned him invitations to speak at science education meetings and have led to productive collaborations with national colleagues. Indeed, the University of Colorado Boulder is lucky to have such a committed teacher and open educator among its faculty.
2022 Open Educator Award Winners
Nikolaus Correll, an associate professor in Computer Science, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering Sciences, is honored this year for his creation and adoption of an openly available textbook titled Introduction to Autonomous Robots. He was driven to create the text as he discovered that there are few textbooks intended for undergraduates in the emerging field of Robotics. The textbook began as the transformation of Correll’s lecture notes into book form and, over the span of ten years, has grown to be a collaboration with several colleagues and contributors, including Alessandro Roncone, Christoffer Heckman, Bradley Hayes as well as students. The book, available on github, has attracted the attention of fellow educators as well as thousands of hobbyists and programmers worldwide, who have forked the book and "starred" it on Github. Beginning in 2022, the textbook will be available through MIT Press with an open license.
To fellow educators considering OER for their teaching, Correll says, “Be bold, rehash, contribute, and make these materials your own. Providers of OER love that! As a creator, 1000 likes on social media lead to at most 5-10 real interactions. One person marked up the entire book and sent me a scanned version. I loved it and implemented all their suggestions.”
Alan Mickelson, an associate professor in Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, is honored this year for his use of David J.C. MacKay’s openly-licensed text Sustainable Energy–Without the Hot Air in the course ECEN 1500 Sustainable Energy. Student Jessie Villagran nominated Mickelson and commended his integration of this open educational resource (OER): “Not only did Professor Mickelson [use] this OER to his course, but for every homework problem he sends us, he also has created examples for each of these problems with videos explaining how to solve every single one of these examples. This dedication to giving students the most information is what makes him stand out to me as a nominee. The way he implements this material and teaches it turned this into my favorite class, and I'm not even a math person.” Mickelson adopted the OER in 2017 and continues to locate and blend additional readings with the text. According to Mickelson, the OER “ is unique and a classic” and “when used as one resource among many others available, the book can be a great asset.” It is evident that Mickelson is committed to providing students with quality sources with varied viewpoints to increase their engagement with the content. He works to engage students with content, peers, and practices that prepare them for effective problem solving. As Mickelson describes: “As a teacher, I believe that students should be able to solve problems. I also feel that having a grasp of the larger picture is crucial to being able to solve real world problems. I feel that students should work together with each other and in groups. This interaction is important both for learning concepts and for readying one for after graduation.”
2021 Open Educator Award Winners
Nicole Jobin has been engaged in numerous open educator groups and initiatives on the CU Boulder campus, including: OpenCU OER review workshops, ASSETT’s Special Interest Groups on Buffscreate, and ASSETT’s Innovation Incubator—the Collective to Advance Multimodal Participatory Publishing (CAMPP). She values the opportunity for students to openly license and publish their intellectual work, and to engage in the co-creation of knowledge. She was also driven to adopt OER when examining the high cost of course materials and realized “there were some easy ways I could start to make a difference.”
Dr. Beth Osnes’ nominator described her as “an excellent example of an open educator.” And, indeed, Osnes has found creative and inspiring ways to use OER in the classroom as well as inviting students to co-create openly licensed content. Osnes, an Associate Professor of Theatre and an associate of the Environmental Studies faculty, created a collaborative web space where students curated facilitation techniques for an openly licensed Community Performance Toolbox. Students enrolled in her Performance and Community Engagement class share strategies for in-person and virtual class settings. Since its inception, the toolbox has attracted attention from educators at CU and beyond.
2021 Honorary Mentions
Gregory D. Young, Senior Instructor in Political Science and International Affairs, was nominated for the Open Educator Award by eight students who praised his innovative approach to crafting an open educational resource in collaboration with students. In Fall 2020, Young guided students enrolled in PSCI 3062/Revolutions & Political Violence in the authorship of chapters on revolutionary theory, which will subsequently be published with an open license for use by future students in the course. The experience was appreciated by students for the sense of contribution and authentic creation that it offered: “It makes me feel like I've accomplished something that's more than just me trying to muddle by in a class...
Dr. Fredrickson, Associate Clinical Professor in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and Director of Audiology Clinical Education, was nominated for her efforts to design and make available 50-60 simulations of clinical practice for students of audiology, filling a gap in available learning resources. Her timely and expert design of interactive materials meant that students were able “to hone their clinical skills, sharpen their critical thinking and decision making, and apply evidence-based practices in the context of a clinical scenario,” as reported by one nominator. In 2020, opportunities for clinical training were halted due to the pandemic which may have delayed students’ graduation and learning without Dr. Fredrickson’s resources.
2020 Open Educator Award Winner
Matthew Burrows, lecturer with the International English Center, is the recipient of the 2020 CU Boulder Open Educator Award from the University Libraries and the University of Colorado Student Government. This award recognizes his commitment to customizing and tailoring educational content to enhance classroom learning and engagement.
2019 Open Educator Award Winner
Leah Wasser is the recipient of the 2019 CU Boulder Open Educator Award from the CU Student Government and the University Libraries. The award recognizes her openly-licensed Earth Analytics Python course that uses open source tools to educate students on Earth data science. An average of 50,000 unique global visitors access the course materials each month.
2018 Open Educator Award Winner
Diana Maggiore has received the first CU Boulder Open Educator Award from the CU Student Government and the University Libraries. This award recognizes Maggiore’s innovative use of the MyOpenMath platform, an open educational resource (OER). She used this OER in her MATH 1005 and MATH 1011 course instruction to reduce students’ course materials costs and to enhance their engagement and learning.