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Three LSUS Librarians Selected for Department of Education Open Textbook Pilot Program

April 27, 2021

Shreveport, LA-Three librarians from the LSUS Noel Memorial Library were selected to participate in the Louisiana Board of Regents' LOUIS Open Textbooks Pilot: Interactive Open Educational Resource (OER) for Dual Enrollment. Jessica Hawkes, Sarah Mazur, and Brian Sherman are among twenty-five academic librarians from the state's LOUIS member library community who were selected. They will lead a cohort of five teaching faculty from across all state college and university systems in the development of re-deployable OER courses for one of twenty-five dual enrollment general education courses.

The pilot program is funded by a Louisiana Department of Education grant secured by the LOUIS Consortium. OERs are openly licensed educational materials that may include anything from a single lesson to an entire textbook or a fully developed course. The objective of OERs is to create high-quality educational content that is free to use, personalize, and share at no cost to students. Cohorts will leverage the benefits of openly licensed materials to develop OER and interactive ancillary content and create more culturally responsive and relevant learning resources for students.

"This is a great opportunity for the library faculty and LSUS teaching faculty to impact retention efforts," Brian Sherman, LSUS Dean of Libraries, said. "This will also make college education more affordable, so we are very excited to participate in this."

The courses being developed in the Open Textbook Pilot have the potential to reduce costs and improve outcomes for approximately 20,000 high school students and 250,000 total student enrollments statewide per academic year. Selected courses have historically high enrollment and poor outcomes, with 20 percent or more students ending the course with a D letter grade, failure, or withdrawal (DFW).

"This Board of Regents' initiative will address and neutralize income disparities that prevent so many of our high school students from being able to afford college-level courses through Dual Enrollment," Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Helen Taylor said. "The prohibitive cost of textbooks is a real stumbling block for many students and this project will eliminate that hurdle and help our young people get the college credit that aids social mobility."

Through the introduction of open educational resources, including open textbooks and interactive content, LOUIS seeks to reduce equity gaps in dual enrollment participation and outcomes. Librarians in the project will support faculty teams through training and coordinating the delivery of OER. Successful projects will lower the barriers to participation in dual enrollment and post-secondary education opportunities for students across the state.

For more information about the LOUIS Open Textbooks Pilot, contact the Noel Memorial Library at 318-798-4131.

About LSUS
Founded in 1967, Louisiana State University Shreveport offers a wide array of nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including a doctoral degree. The university's mission is to educate a diverse population of graduate and undergraduate students; engage in regional and global thought leadership through community collaboration and service; and innovate to enhance the application of knowledge and intellectual discovery through faculty and student research and creative endeavors.

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