This page describes winning projects funded by the Tisch OER & Affordable Course Materials Awards.
Katie Mattaini, Biology
Course: BIO105 Molecular Biology
Project: Dr. Mattaini's OER text Encyclopedia of Biological Methods is written to introduce a variety of biological methods to any student with a basic understanding of introductory-level college biology. The Tisch award provides funding for work in the spring to migrate the text to a new platform, add additional entries, and explore opportunities to solicit collaboration and wider adoption among colleagues.
Vesal Dini, Physics & Astronomy
Course: PHY001 Introduction to Physics
Project: Adopting the freely-available NEXUS/Physics text to replace an expensive, proprietary online platform that students were previously required to purchase. NEXUS/Physics will be used with the Perusall platform to engage students in collaboration around content delivery. Course material costs for students in PHY001 will be reduced to $0, saving them over $100.
Ravichandra Bachu, Chemistry
Course: CHEM001 General Chemistry with Lab
Project: Students in CHEM001 were previously required to purchase an expensive textbook and solutions manual in addition to an online homework platform. For Spring 2023, they will be using the freely-available OpenStax textbook Chemistry: Atoms First 2e with an online homework platform available at a lesser negotiated cost. The Tisch award provides funding for the additional time needed to create detailed solutions, including videos, to the questions in the book. With the switch to an open textbook, students will save several hundred dollars in course material costs.
Brian Brenner, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Course: CEE129 Bridge Design and Rehabilitation
Project: An online, interactive timeline of bridge history that will include key bridges and events in bridge engineering, images, links, and project references. The timeline will provide easier access for students to a more comprehensive view of bridge history, and how it forms the base of current practice and understanding of bridge analysis and design. Once the tool is developed, student homework and project assignments will be designed to add material to the timeline. The timeline will be shared with a Creative Commons license to allow other students and instructors to use, share, and build upon the resource.
Mark Kachanov, Mechanical Engineering
Course: ME120 Solid Mechanics
Project: A set of comprehensive lecture notes with exercises to replace the assigned textbook for this course. The lecture notes will be more closely aligned with the material covered in the course than the existing textbook and will be a resource that better meets the needs of students in the class who are coming in with a wide range of previous knowledge and experience. Additionally, this alternative to a traditional textbook will come at a critical time, as there is a forthcoming new edition of the existing course textbook, which would nullify students' ability to purchase cheaper used copies of the book.
Steven Bell, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Course: EN1, Engineering in the Kitchen
Project: A concise digital textbook for the foundational topics in the course, including circuit analysis, Python programming, microcontroller I/O using MicroPython, and computer networking. Because there isn’t any book that adequately covers the broad range of course concepts at a level appropriate for first-semester students, using existing resources would require students to buy multiple textbooks. This newly-created text will be an authoritative and accessible reference for many topics in the course and will help to bridge gaps in the range of experience levels that students come into the course with. It will be made available on the Runestone Academy platform.
Katherine Wang, Experimental College
Course: EXP-0050-J: Justice is the Best Medicine: Reimagining Healthcare and the Medical Industrial Complex
Project: A no-cost open course that provides a wide-ranging overview of the medical industrial complex (MIC). The course will incorporate sources such as online articles (by journalists, community members/activists), YouTube videos, Instagram posts, policy briefs and reports, podcast episodes, and documentaries (accessible via the library). Through the class, students will form answers to the questions:
- What is the medical industrial complex? What are its goals and mechanisms?
- What is the role of racism, heteropatriarchy, and ableism in US healthcare?
- How are people resisting and reimagining healthcare?
The course material, including syllabus, lesson plans, and assignments, will be submitted to the library as a toolkit so that other instructors may incorporate these topics into their teaching in the future.
- EXP0050J Justice is the Best Medicine: Reimagining Healthcare and the Medical Industrial Complex. First year seminar instructional materials, Fall 2021
Ioannis Evrigenis, Political Science
ED191C: Civics Workshop for MA Teachers
ED191: Intro to Civic Studies for MA Teachers
ED191: The Declaration of Independence
Project: Three civics workshops for Massachusetts teachers, through the University College program, which will consider how to enhance civics education in middle and high school curricula. The grant from Tisch Library will support putting together resource packets that include information about where to access OER material and the OER material itself. This OER content will be used to teach the workshops, and then can subsequently be used by the workshop participants in their own classrooms. The resource packets and course materials will be made openly available after the workshops are taught.
Michael Beckley, Political Science
Course: PS 188-02 Chinese Foreign Policy
Project: A full course of recorded lectures covering an array of issues related to China's foreign policy, military, economy, and relationship with other major nations including the United States. This content replaces some core texts that students would otherwise have to purchase.
Kevin Cody, Environmental Studies
Course: ENV 190/ANTH 159 Practicing in Food Systems
Project: Integrate an open access book Agroecology Now! Transformations Towards More Just and Sustainable Food Systems into the course syllabus and student learning objectives to replace a required purchased text.
Jennifer Minnen, English
Course: English 1 Expository Writing
Project: An online module that challenges students to enter the conversation taking place right now at Tufts on the role of public art in creating an anti-racist campus, including a unit overview; a skills map with outcomes; lesson plans (on such topics as identifying meaningful questions, interviewing stakeholders, and analyzing multi-media sources); a curated collection of primary documents and secondary sources; and a trove of student writing, photographs, and video.
Kate Mirkin, Biology
Course: BIO41 General Genetics
Project: Videos that demonstrate two important biological processes that cannot be shown in two dimensions (on slides or in a textbook): molecular mechanism of homologous recombination in meiosis and formation of catenane during replication of circular bacterial chromosome. The videos, which aren't available openly elsewhere, will replace in-class demonstrations using play-doh and paper & scissors.
- Formation of Catenane After Replication of Circular Bacterial Chromosome
- How DNA Binding Proteins Recognize Their Target Sequences in DNA
- Molecular Mechanism of Homologous Recombination in Meiosis
Diren Pamuk Turner, Chemistry
Course: Chem 12 General Chemistry/Chem 54 Organic Chemistry
Project: Replace standard in-class examinations with take-home assessments by implementing research article-based examinations. Assessments include questions that require integration of the lecture material with the research applications and require extensive analysis and scientific deduction, with a deep attention to the topic.
- Incorporating current research articles into general chemistry curriculum: Research literature assessments for students
Nicola Solly, English
Course: English 2 Freshman Writing Seminar: Differences
Project: A syllabus which is fully integrated with Canvas, including assignments, quizzes, readings and other activities. The integrated syllabus will be available to adopt as a complete course for anyone teaching the English 2 Differences class. Many elements will be writing and grammar exercises and quizzes not specific to the Differences theme and therefore will be transferable to other English 1 or 2 courses or any other writing/composition course.