With a PhD in Neuroscience and 17 years of teaching at Middlesex under her belt, Professor Jean Cremins is confident that she can deliver comprehensive, accurate content to those seeking an introduction to the field. In Fall 2017, she began using Open Educational Resources for her biology class “The Brain, from Molecules from the Mind.” She believes that “Some courses are perfect for it…Neuroscience doesn't have a big audience at the community college level and the texts weren't there to choose from.”
She benefits from not having to jump through the hurdles of a publisher website, navigating access, and updated editions that change little besides page/figure numbers. Professor Cremins also appreciates that OER is free for students. She says, “Good Neuroscience texts are designed for those with a biology background and are extremely expensive ($200-300)." Having this cheap and remote option through OER can make the class accessible for students from all over the country who need it as a prerequisite. Additionally, she believes OER saves students time by eliminating the barriers of learning how to use a new website, finding material, and struggling to open an e-text. Professor Cremins reports that her students “say they are grateful & appreciative of my labor for no cost.”
For faculty considering OER, Professor Cremins offers the following advice: “If you are teaching in a field that dictates a standard content for huge numbers of students nationwide (A & P, for example), use OpenStax etc- if you think it is up to standards in your field. Trying to create an only notes course (which is really what I did) is an incredible amount of work. If you have a little niche and you love the field- go for it!”
We appreciate your continued support of OER, Professor Cremins!