Published: March 6, 2023

Mike Klymkowsky, a molecular, cellular and developmental biology professor who saved students over $5 million in textbook costs by making his co-authored texts open access, is being honored with an Open Educator Award.

The award is given annually by the University Libraries and the University of Colorado Boulder Student Government to honor educators who reduce the cost of an education and enhance learning by creating, sharing, supporting or using open educational materials in their teaching. Klymkowsky’s co-authored textbooks for introductory and organic chemistry have also been the subject of several research studies into effective open educational resources. These studies show that student learning improved as a result of adopting the textbooks as course materials.

Influenced by his own educational experiences and dissatisfaction with memorization-centric materials and rote activities, Klymkowsky designed his textbooks to be relevant and engaging to students while excluding distracting or unnecessary content. “As I have come to learn something about teaching at the college level, I have embraced the idea that the goal of the teacher is to help students understand and appreciate core principles,” said Klymkoswky. “This is the skill of following the logic of an argument and the ability to identify areas of confusion, inconsistency or missing detail.”

Klymkowsky’s achievements have earned him invitations to speak at science education meetings and have led to productive collaborations with national colleagues.

Do you know a CU educator who has implemented, adapted, authored, or shared high quality open educational resources? Help us celebrate campus innovators who are enhancing learning and supporting the sharing and use of open educational materials by nominating them for the Open Educator Award. The next call for nominations will be issued in late fall 2023. All CU Boulder educators, including graduate students, are eligible to be nominated for campus-wide recognition. CU Student Government and the Libraries annually recognize CU educators who demonstrate exemplary open educational practices. Questions? Please contact the Libraries OER Leads.

Learn how CU educators use open educational resources

The University Libraries invite you to attend a panel discussion with CU Boulder educators who have experience creating and working with open educational resources (OER). This virtual discussion will take place March 8, from 12:30 p.m to 2:00 p.m. Registration required, participants will receive the Zoom link the day before the event.