UBC Applied Science profs receive Open Champion Awards

Open Champions

Two professors in the UBC Faculty of Applied Science have been named Open Educational Resources (OER) Champions by Open UBC and the Alma Mater Society of UBC (AMS).  

Dr. Suzanne Campbell, an associate professor in the School of Nursing, and Dr. Jonathan Verrett, an assistant professor of teaching in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, were recognized for supporting affordable and inclusive access to educational materials at UBC.  

“At the core of the [open learning] movement is achieving equitable access to knowledge, removing systemic barriers facing students based on one’s gender, race, and/or socioeconomic status,” wrote Cole Evans, president of the AMS, and Professor Santa Ono, president and vice-chancellor of UBC, in a letter to this year’s OER Champions. “Your leadership moves us closer to removing these barriers to knowledge and re-emphasizes the values of equity and inclusion that we hold dear at this institution.”  

According to the AMS, almost three out of every four students at UBC report using either outdated textbooks or no textbooks at all due to cost, while nearly a quarter of UBC students report that they may need to abandon their studies for financial reasons. The average UBC student spends $829 dollars on textbooks and other course materials each school year.   

OER Champions are members of the UBC community whose efforts to promote open educational resources have reduced the number of students who face educational challenges as a result of the high cost of course materials. This year, 42 Champions were celebrated at a virtual event hosted by Christina Hendricks, director of the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology; Simon Bates, associate vice-provost of teaching and learning in the Office of the Provost & Vice-President Academic; and Georgia Yee, vice-president of academic and university affairs at the AMS.

Dr. Campbell’s and Dr. Verrett’s full citations read:  

Dr. Suzanne Campbell  

Dr. Suzanne Campbell is an early adopter of innovative teaching methodologies, including simulations and open practices. An enthusiastic instructor [who] believes in making education accessible, she is working on an open educational resources for lactation education. 

Dr. Jonathan Verrett  
  
Dr. Jonathan Verrett shows a deep commitment to providing free and open access to resources developed within a public university setting. Working with Dr. Agnes d’Entremont, Jonathan has worked to develop and convert existing mathematics problem sets to WeBWorK, an open-source online homework delivery system. With d’Entremont, he also converted 700 existing problems from the LMS to the Open Problem Library. Additionally, through a TLEF-funded project, Jonathan incorporated open pedagogy and authentic student learning through the curation, development, and provisioning of openly available multi-media resources for CHBE 241, where students were asked to edit and update resources as a part of their course work.