Gregory D. Young
Gregory D. Young, senior instructor in the Political Science and International Affairs department, was nominated for the Open Educator Award by eight students who praised his innovative approach to crafting an open educational resource in collaboration with students.
In Fall 2020, Young guided students enrolled in PSCI 3062 “Revolutions & Political Violence” in the authorship of chapters on revolutionary theory, which will subsequently be published with an open license for use by future students in the course. The experience was appreciated by students for the sense of contribution and authentic creation that it offered.
“It makes me feel like I've accomplished something that's more than just me trying to muddle by in a class, and I think it's for a great cause,” student Abigail Nguyen said in her nomination.
As one student described, they were able to become “small experts” on the course content, which significantly impacted students’ motivation and investment. In addition to this open pedagogical approach, Young made all other course readings and materials available with open licenses or library-licensed content meaning that students were not burdened by course material costs.
Young’s interest in OER arose early in his teaching career at the University of Northern Colorado, where he observed that students, “could not afford [all of the texts] or would not be able to buy them until later in the semester. In my experience with hundreds of students, they learn better when they have access to all course materials from day one,” said Young.
The student nominators emphasized how this approach offers cost benefits, as well as an opportunity to hear from diverse perspectives. Nominator Jared Espinoza noted that “The diversity of sources over a traditional textbook not only saved us money but also provided diverse perspective[s].”
Evident in all of the nominations was a heart-felt appreciation for Young’s approach to teaching and gratitude for his care for students. “Interacting with my students is the reason that I do this,” said Young.
Tammy Fredrickson, associate clinical professor in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and director of Audiology Clinical Education, was nominated for her efforts to design and make available 50-60 simulations of clinical practice for students of audiology, filling a gap in available learning resources.
Fredrickson’s timely and expert design of interactive materials meant that students were able to “hone their clinical skills, sharpen their critical thinking and decision making and apply evidence-based practices in the context of a clinical scenario,” as reported by one nominator.
In 2020, opportunities for clinical training were halted due to the pandemic, which may have delayed students’ graduation and learning without Fredrickson’s resources.
As a teacher in a clinical program, Fredrickson says she is motivated by “watching students make connections between what they learn in the classroom and how those things learnt in the classroom reveal themselves in a clinical setting and in patients.”
“I'm always looking for ways to improve my clinical teaching and to better support our students,” Fredrickson said.
Using several web applications and resources, Fredrickson is openly licensing these materials to make them widely available to audiology students across the country. She has already been recognized by the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD). As faculty colleague Kathryn H. Arehart noted, “What has emerged is going to be a profound educational resource that will be shared with other university programs and will be integrated into both our undergraduate and graduate courses.”
Students have also been quick to praise Fredrickson’s work. Her feedback from students shows, “they have appreciated the opportunity the simulations provide for us to slow down and discuss issues and questions that we simply don't have the time to immediately address in a clinical environment. This can help to further strengthen the connection between what students learn in the classroom and how those things reveal themselves in the clinical setting with patients.”
Student and nominator Heather Hurlbut confirmed that “These cases have been great for being able to review case-based concepts at our own pace.”
While these resources are filling an important gap and Fredrickson’s work is being applauded, she remarked that there is still plenty of opportunity to collaborate on expanding access to simulations and improve student learning.
“In the field of audiology, we need more of these types of resources,” said Fredrickson. “Working together to create these types of resources would not only improve the quality of the resources, [but] also improve learning opportunities for students.”