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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Information about using open educational resources (OER) at Red Deer Polytechnic.

Students say...

If I didn't have to buy textbooks, I could have paid for:

OER Created by Faculty

Dr. Candi Raudebaugh, Occupational and Physical Therapy Assistant instructor

Life Skills Training Modulesdeveloped by Dr. Candi Raudebaugh as part of her doctoral studies.

book cover with title and image of wooden pieces arranged in a group

Claudia Sasse, Early Learning and Child Care Instructor

Pedagogical Leadership for Early Learning Educatorscurated by Claudia Sasse as an open textbook for ECEL 3008: Pedagogical Leadership, although its content could benefit other ECE courses as well. 

"Offering another Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) course for our ELCC students supports not only their learning but also their student academic budget. I hope you enjoy it!" - Claudia 

Cover of 19th Century European Art History, co-created by Megan Bylsma and ART 305 students

Megan Bylsma, Art History & Animation History Instructor

19th Century European Art History, co-created by Megan Bylsma and ART 305 students at Red Deer Polytechnic

Faculty Showcase

Claudia Sasse, Early Learning and Child Care Instructor

Claudia Sasse headshotCourse: ELCC 308: Family Supports

Text: Child, Family, and Community 

"This resource has been chosen because its content covers virtually all the desired outcomes for this particular course. Having a resource that is available free of cost supports our students’ financial well-being. Students were very appreciative to the fact that they did not have to buy a textbook for the ELCC 308 course. That is part of my plan of supporting students to succeed in their program."



Dr. Elena Antoniadis, Psychology Instructor

photo of Dr. Elena Antoniadis Course: PYSC 260 (A, F, and Z)

 Resource: "I will be combining a set of OERs into one unified compilation of teaching resources for the students."

"PSYC 260 sections A, F, and Z will be using Open Educational Resources that will be available free of cost to all students. These resources were chosen because they offer an integrated set of principles and knowledge on psychology, and utilize the dual theme of behaviour and empiricism to make psychology relevant."

Dr. Jacqueline Cowan & Sharon Engbrecht, English Instructors

Course: ENGL 219

Resource: A variety of curated, accessible resources

Dr. Jacqueline Cowan: "I opt for OER because they are free of cost and easy to access. I often create online resources specific to my courses so that I can tailor reading materials to the skills students build in class. Although most of my students appreciate OER, I supplement these resources with print textbooks for students who prefer them."

Sharon Engbrecht: "We won’t be using a textbook [for this course]. Instead, we’ll be using a combination of curated content and Open Educational Resources (OER). It’s been a difficult year, and I want to make this course as financially accessible as possible...Students have been thankful so far. "

Jessica Green, Nursing (PN) Instructor

photo of Jessica Course: PN 270

Resource: "Recognizing Respiratory Distress and Failure" by OPENPediatrics

"I use OPENPediatrics for their detailed videos on pediatric and infant assessments. Students like to be able to watch them as many times as they want and to have access to review them on their own time."


Sarah Malo & Maggie Convey, Nursing (BScN) Instructors

book cover Course: NURS 206

Resource: "The Scholarship of Writing in Nursing Education: 1st Canadian Edition"**

** chosen with support from the Health Sciences Librarian

"This is a comprehensive resource on the topic of scholarly writing created for undergraduate nursing students. It includes information on topics that will enhance student success in the post-secondary learning environment, such as reading & comprehension, information fluency and the fundamentals of writing. It also includes embedded activities for students to test their knowledge."

Dr. Jeff Wigelsworth, History Instructor

Course: HIST 361: The United States to 1865

Text: The American Yawp: A Massively Collaborative Open U.S. History Textbook (Vol. 1) edited by Joseph L. Locke and Ben Wright

"I chose this book because the usual textbook in an American history survey course like this runs close to $100 and I'm mindful of textbook costs for students. After comparing the content of this freely available source to other traditional books, I was very pleased with this OER. I also like that each chapter has contributions from dozens of experts and students are getting the amalgamated knowledge of many scholars. This is the first time I have used an OER. So far I am very happy with it. I plan to use vol. 2 in the Winter term with HIST 362 'The United States since 1865.'"


Dr. Stéphane-D. Perreault, History Instructor

Course: HIST 373: Canada to 1867

 Text: Canadian History: Pre-Confederation by John Douglas Belshaw



Course: HIST 374: The Dominion of Canada

 Text: Post-Confederation by John Douglas Belshaw



"I actually found out about the textbook I am using from a student’s research paper a few years ago. That student had referenced it and I was intrigued, having never heard of that particular resource. This would lead me to shift from the print volumes I used to use to this online free resource starting in the Fall of 2017. The book’s strengths are the following:

  • It provides a wealth of information, presenting a diversity of perspective on key controversies.
  • It is clearly organized around learning outcomes (called objectives) and the chapters / sections are short, although the complete volumes are massive.
  • It comes in a variety of formats… and I could even modify it to use in class if I had the time and patience.
  • The publisher (BC Open Textbooks) offers various print options, including a full-service printing-binding service at a cost. I did purchase a print copy to see what it looked like and was impressed as it provides a good quality resource for students who prefer using paper at a cost that cannot be beat by home printing.
  • It is updated as required, although at the moment I would like the author to update the terminology used to describe Indigenous peoples.
  • Did I mention it is free? This is a very popular feature with students.

I do intend to survey students specifically about whether to keep this resource or go back to the published costly textbooks, but I am pretty sure what the consensus will be.

The free element, and the fact that it does not require printing does, as a faculty member, allow me some freedom too, since I don’t necessarily feel duty-bound to use the volume in its entirety, or I can provide additional resources without feeling I am imposing a financial and ethical burden on my students."

BIOL 201: Concepts in Biology

OpenStax biology textbook cover Text: Biology 2e by OpenStax

"I have been using Openstax for my BIOL 201 course, i.e. introduction to biology for non-majors. I like to use an open source for those students since they likely will not need a biology textbook for any of their other courses. I like that source. The quality of the information is good. A lot of the information is beyond what they need, but I like that I can assign certain pages and skip others." - previous instructor