EducationNews

Waldorf University Mathematics Department Chair to Receive Funding for Student-Centered Project

On behalf of the Iowa Private Academic Libraries (IPAL), Andrea Blanchard, the department chair of mathematics at Waldorf University, will be receiving a $10,000 grant to fund her project submitted to Open Educational Resources (OER) Project.

The IPAL OER Project grant encourages faculty members to create an open-source material to aid with redesigning courses or creating support tools. The project that Blanchard worked on focuses on the relevance of resources for students involved in mathematics courses at Waldorf University. “I was looking for some projects to work on over the summer and was interested in updating our textbook for the general education math class,” says Blanchard. “I decided to give it a try after the library director Sarah Beiting told us about it in a faculty meeting.” Blanchard is creating a digital collection of free resources and study materials in the form of a textbook to make available for students.

The grant will be used to compensate for the time and effort it takes to create the online version of the textbook. “Instead of trying to deal with copyright issues, it is better to transfer original graphs and equations to a digital form,” said Blanchard. “It takes a lot more time and maneuvering to make the original graphs to look like the ones we have in our current textbook.” The soon-to-be-completed project will streamline the curriculum of the class while decreasing course expenses for students since they will not be required to purchase resources for the class. Starting spring of 2022, students who are taking the corresponding class will gain access to this free textbook as part of the OER.

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