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Affordable Learning @ TTC: History

Highlighting various Initiatives using no cost and/or lower costs alternatives to textbooks.

Michael Shanshala

Michael Shanshala currently serves as the Department Head for History, Humanities & Languages.   In Fall 2020, Mike  led the History department in the adoption of an open education textbook for the HIS 104 course, 

What led you to inquire or start looking into OERs? 

While I cannot pinpoint the exact moment OER appeared on my radar, my motivation to pursue the model was to provide students and instructors greater independence from academic publishers. Erasing book costs, curtailing needless edition changes, realizing the instructor-created ancillaries were often far better than those provided by the publisher, and guaranteeing an end to any hurdle (physical or digital) that might prevent a student from accessing their materials factored into my decision to try OER."

How did you review, evaluate and come to the decision of using the textbook you selected? 

"Finding material written by reputable scholars in the field was key. After vetting contributors, next came reading the text and making certain it covered the requisite content and was professional in delivery and appearance."  

 Any Student feedback or comments?

"Students seldom praise their textbooks. None have expressed dislike of the text specifically, which is a sign it fits in well. I'm sure they enjoyed having the extra money in their pockets and not having any issues accessing the material."