Campus News

UGA faculty ramp up OERs to assist peers moving to online

Leah Carmichael uses a multimedia OER produced by Stephen Bridges in her class. (Submitted photo)

In response to campuses around the world swiftly transitioning to an online format, University of Georgia faculty are sharing their professionally produced online course materials as open educational resources.

OERs are teaching, learning and research resources that can be freely retained, reused, revised, remixed and redistributed.

Experienced online instructors at UGA quickly ramped up the number of OERs available across an array of topics including anthropology, statistics, political science and physical education. The result is 106 fully accessible OERs for general use.

Victor Thompson, professor of archaeology in the university’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and director of the UGA Center for Archaeological Sciences, shared short, captioned video clips relevant to any archeology or introductory anthropology course to help anyone making this rapid transition to online.

“Teaching online, if you’ve not done it before, can be daunting,” Thompson said.

Michelle vanDellen, an associate professor in Franklin College’s psychology department, made 28 short, definitional videos from her online course available that explain discrete statistical concepts and methods that are applicable to almost any statistics or applied statistics course in the social sciences. Trina Cyterski, a senior lecturer in the psychology department, created eight online course videos that provide lecture content and demonstrations of cognitive psychology principles.

Leah Carmichael, a lecturer in the international affairs department in the School of Public and International Affairs, made 15 instructional media assets available. They tackle various aspects of international relations including some of the more challenging global issues that leaders face.

For physical education instructors in need of creative ways to remotely teach their material, Ilse Mason, a senior lecturer and basic physical education program coordinator in the kinesiology department in the Mary Frances Early College of Education, provides a choice from among 21 OER physical education textbooks. Mason has been developing basic physical education courses as OERs at UGA since 2013.

Despite the rapid change to daily life and higher education instruction, faculty are offering their assistance to other faculty with openly available materials and examples to assist in their transition to online instruction.

UGA’s course media and open textbooks are available on UGA Online’s OER’s webpage. All OERs meet WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility requirements. They are also listed as a resource on the University System of Georgia’s institution guides for faculty.

UGA faculty members who would like to make their course content available as part of the OER site maintained by the Office of Online Learning should send an email to