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Thursday, April 21 • 2:50pm - 3:20pm
OER Plant Biology Lab Manual: Content and Development Process

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Courses require textbooks but there are many critical issues surrounding access, quality, and costs for students. Many students either delay or choose not to acquire textbooks due to financial constraints. The use of OER addresses these issues of affordability and attainment gap concerns, and increases student learning and retention. While there are many options for OER textbooks, OER lab manuals are uncommon. We saw a need to develop a Plant Biology Lab Manual into an OER for our plant biology laboratory (BIOL 2111). To make the lab manual coherent, we developed each lab exercise with emphasis on the relationship between plant structure and function and adaptations to a sedentary lifestyle, two course themes aligned with the lecture. Most of the exercises are original and self-contained, resulting from the authors’ long-time teaching experience, both in person and online. Each lab includes the following elements: student learning objectives, a topic introduction, keywords, activity instructions, review questions and links to resources. During online lab delivery in spring 2020, we included a special survey for students to identify learning issues for the purpose of improving the manual and course content. During the fall 2021 transition back to in person instruction, we were able to initiate a trial of OER by posting the lab exercises on Canvas after revisions and updates. We are currently finalizing the OER Plant Biology Lab Manual, which will contribute to a more open, inclusive, and accessible resource for our students, thus motivating them to successfully learn plant biology at TWU.


Amy Jo Hammett

Associate Clinical Professor, Texas Woman's University
I teach environmental biology and microbiology in addition to supervising several biology teaching labs including microbiology, general microbiology, immunology, botany and ecology.

Thursday April 21, 2022 2:50pm - 3:20pm CDT