Calgary, AB (March 10, 2020) On March 10, 2020, Lyryx announced its second OER Champion of the year; Anna Vershynina of the University of Houston. Because of Anna’s commitment to making education accessible and employing OER in her courses, the Department of Mathematics at UH will receive an award of $1,500 to further OER practice.
The Lyryx OER Champion campaign was created to celebrate the efforts and successes of instructors working to adopt, adapt and develop open educational resources (OERs) in conjunction with Lyryx. Running from February to March of 2020, OER Champion stories were selected and showcased on the Lyryx website and social media. Upon selecting three OER Champions, Lyryx authors and content experts followed specific guidelines in collectively voting for the Lyryx OER Champion of the Year. Below is Anna’s story:
“…I’m an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Houston (UH). UH is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), and it is one of only three Tier One public research universities in the nation with this designation and the only such institution in Texas. Moreover, the UH serves working middle-class students, most of which are working long hours to put themselves through college.
I strongly believe that education is a right not a privilege, and should be free and only limited by students’ interests and abilities, not their finances. To this end, I only use OER in my classes. Last semester I was teaching Advanced Linear Algebra. A textbook from Lyryx was the most comprehensive and clear, and had the best choices for the topics I found. When I found out that it also came with so many perks, such as online homework, practice problems, and teaching slides, I immediately started advertising it on my department. The first question I was asked every time was “How much is it?” It took a while to convince everyone that it was free for the students, free for the instructor, and free for the university. In fact, it’s not only free for the department, it reduces our costs by not having a grader assigned to the class, since the system grades all homework assignments automatically. The next question that always came was “Then why aren’t we using it already?”
I don’t know about the others, but I definitely will be using Lyryx in the future. I have even requested to teach linear algebra again next year, so I can use the system.”
Follow up with Lyryx in January 2021 when the OER Champion campaign will celebrate another round of OER advocates. See all Lyryx OER Champion stories here.