About the Authors

Breeman Ainsworth

Breeman Ainsworth is Head of the Humanities Department at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. He has more than 10 years of experience teaching in higher education and has served as a department head for five. His first experience with open educational resources (OER) came as a student, and the experience shaped his expectations and hopes for future college courses. He serves in a leadership role in broadening the local use of OER. He has been privileged to work with a supportive informational technology staff and instructor and brings OER to many of his own and his department’s courses. He cooperated with administration to provide compensation packages to professors to encourage OER implementation.

Nicole allen

Nicole Allen is the Director of Open Education at SPARC. A decade and a half ago, she was an undergraduate student frustrated with the cost of textbooks. Today, she is an internationally recognized policy expert, community organizer, and speaker on open education, educational technology, and higher education reform. Motivated by the belief that everyone, everywhere should be able to participate in shaping human knowledge, Nicole’s work includes advocating for effective open policies, supporting open education programming for SPARC’s network, and empowering emerging leaders in the open education movement.

Alexis clifton

Alexis Clifton is a long-time open education advocate. Building from her first experiences using OER in her English Composition courses at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Washington, she went on to participate in the Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative and later served as a Faculty Success lead and course developer with Lumen Learning. She acted as the founding executive director of SUNY OER Services, serving all 64 institutions of the State University of New York in the support and development of local campus OER initiatives. She is the vice president of the board of directors for Open Education Global. As a senior instructional support specialist at SUNY Geneseo in Geneseo, New York, Alexis specializes in open, accessible, and inclusive course design to expand educational opportunities for everyone.

Rebel Cummings-Sauls

Rebel Cummings-Sauls is Director of Digital Services and OER for the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative. Rebel has 10 years of experience in higher education, with more than six years in academic research libraries. Previously, she was the director of the Center for the Advancement of Digital Scholarship at Kansas State University and served as a partner on the Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative.  Prior to appointment to Kansas State in 2015, she served as a library operations coordinator for the Tampa Library at the University of South Florida.  From 2008 to 2011, she held positions in the Office of Distance Learning at Florida State University. She received her bachelor of science degree in Information Studies in 2002 and her master of science in Library and Information Studies degree, with specializations, in 2010 from Florida State University. She attended the Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians at Harvard University in 2015.


Jessica Dai is a resident librarian at West Virginia University where she works on OER advocacy and strategic projects out of the dean’s office. Her research interests include anti-oppression in library information science, open education, critical pedagogy, and the intersections among these fields. She participated in the Open Textbook Network’s inaugural Certificate for OER Librarianship program. You can follow her at @ralphratheriled or https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2335-9799.

Michael Daly

Michael Daly is Director of Operations for SUNY OER Services, a shared service organization working with SUNY campuses, faculty, and students to drive large-scale adoption of OER as a strategy for increasing student success and empowering faculty pedagogy. In his role, he also facilitates active participation and engagement with SUNY’s external partners in OER, including rpk GROUP, as campuses develop OER sustainability plans that reflect local values and cultures. Prior to joining SUNY OER Services, he spent 10 years as Instruction/Public Services Librarian at Fulton-Montgomery Community College, where he developed and led a robust campus-wide OER program.


Juville Dario-Becker is a professor of Biology at Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg. She is an early adopter of OER and has collaborated with other likeminded faculty in the Virginia Community College System. In 2016, she led the Achieving the Dream Open Educational Resources Degree Initiative grant at Central Virginia Community College, with the development of three OER degree programs, supported by 37 required and elective courses, all redesigned as OER. She continues her advocacy for OER through conference presentations, interactions with colleagues, and conversations with students, many of whom are unfamiliar or are skeptical of OER. She has completed the Creative Commons Certificate for Educators.

Tony DEFranco

Tony DeFranco is Director of User Support Services for SUNY OER Services. In this role, he works with faculty, staff, and campus leaders across the State University of New York to help them adopt, scale, and sustain OER initiatives at their institutions. Previously, he served in leadership roles around open education, online learning, and information technology at Tompkins Cortland Community College. Tony began using OER while as a faculty member at Tompkins Cortland and as adjunct instructor at SUNY Cortland. In 2011, he led the college’s involvement in the Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative, and in 2016, he led Tompkins Cortland in developing two degree programs as part of the Achieving the Dream OER Degree Initiative.

Cindy Domaika

Cindy Domaika is Manager of Open and Instructional Resources at Nicolet College. In this position, she works with faculty to help them convert their courses to OER. She is an enthusiastic and determined advocate of  making the world a better place through open education and is grateful to be involved in WTCS OER Network of the Wisconsin Technical College System and the Community for Open Wisconsin initiatives to help the state of Wisconsin become more open. She can be found @cforchange92.

Abbey K. Elder

Abbey Elder is Open Access and Scholarly Communication Librarian at Iowa State University. In this position, she works to expand access to information by educating scholars about open access and open education. Abbey manages the open access publishing agreements at Iowa State, is a Pressbooks administrator for the Iowa State University Digital Press, and coordinates with faculty to help them find, adopt, and create OER for their courses. Her handbook for instructors, The OER Starter Kit (2019), has been used in professional development programs around the United States. ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2289-0166

Ann Fiddler

Ann Fiddler is Open Education Librarian for the City University of New York in the Office of the Dean of Library Services. This office supports 32 libraries across 24 campuses in the five boroughs of New York City. Ann has been overseeing OER initiatives across the university since 2014. She has been the principal investigator for grants in support of OER from Achieving the Dream, The Gates Foundation, and The Public Interest Technology Network. She leads the university-wide OER initiative generously funded by New York State.

Nicole Finkbeiner

Nicole Finkbeiner is a marketing professional with extensive experience in higher education, open education, and community building. She was Director of Institutional Relations for OpenStax, an OER nonprofit at Rice University, where she founded the OpenStax Institutional Partner Program and grew it from 5 to more than 220 colleges and universities. The program resulted in $41.6 million dollars in additional student savings from the use of OER.


Amie Freeman is Scholarly Communication Librarian at the University of South Carolina, where she supports the creation, dissemination, and preservation of digital research and scholarship. Amie oversees the institutional repository Scholar Commons; Create Digital, a platform to host and develop digital scholarship; and an open access fund. She additionally administers the SCoer award, granted annually to University of South Carolina faculty to promote the use of OER. She serves as the chair of South Carolina Affordable Learning, a statewide initiative of the Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries to advance affordable learning. ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0787-5534

Andrea Gillaspy Steinhilper

Andrea Gillaspy Steinhilper is a retired adjunct librarian of Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington. She led the OER initiatives at Lower Columbia College, beginning with the first grants for OER in 2015. She drew together stakeholders across the campus to create the OER Advisory Group (an unofficial “committee”), which helped establish procedures for developing, printing, and disseminating OER throughout the campus. She has helped faculty apply for OER grants, and has spoken about the Lower Columbia College process at  Washington State meetings of College Librarians and Media Specialists and Washington Annual Canvas Conference.

Sarah Hare

Sarah Hare is Scholarly Communication Librarian at Indiana University-Bloomington. In this role, she oversees the open access journal publishing program and spearheads OER outreach. Before moving to Bloomington, Sarah was an information literacy librarian at Davidson College, where she led two OER incentive programs. Her research centers on several scholarly communications topics, including library publishing,  open access outreach to undergraduate students, and integral, but often less visible, considerations for librarians promoting OER. Sarah was a 2018/19 OER Research Fellow and is currently a Library Publishing Coalition board member.

Kris Helge

Kris Helge is the assistant director of Academic Engagement at the Texas Woman’s University Libraries. He published books and articles about scholarly communications and OER related topics. A graduate of Baylor University, Kris has a J.D. from South Texas College of Law Houston and a Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of North Texas.

Nicole Helregel

Nicole Helregel is Student Success Librarian at Purchase College, a campus of the State University of New York. She coordinates library outreach activities, partners with other student success focused units on campus, and serves as liaison to the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, History, and Liberal Studies. Her research and professional interests include library instruction and outreach, science librarianship, and usability. ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5654-2130


Jeanne Hoover is the head of Scholarly Communication at East Carolina University. She leads the Scholarly Communication team in supporting faculty and student scholarly communication needs on campus. In this role, she helps coordinate the mini-grant textbook program, provides workshops on scholarly communication topics, and manages the institutional repository. She is also active in statewide OER and textbook affordability initiatives through the University of North Carolina system and NC LIVE’s Open Education North Carolina. Jeanne was a 2018-2019 SPARC Open Education Leadership Fellow.


Rajiv Jhangiani is the associate vice provost of Open Education at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia. The architect of Canada’s first Zed Cred, or zero textbook cost degree, Rajiv is an internationally known advocate for open education whose research and practice focuses on OER, student-centered pedagogies, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. A recipient of the award for Excellence in Open Education from BCcampus, Rajiv is a co-founder of the Open Pedagogy Notebook. He serves on the BC Open Education Advisory Committee and on the boards of Virtually Connecting, Ubiquity Proceedings, and KDocs Film Festival. A co-author of three open textbooks in Psychology, his most recent book is Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science (2017). You can find him online @thatpsychprof or thatpsychprof.com.

Jessica Kirschner

Jessica Kirschner is Open Educational Resources Librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she leads the library’s open and affordable course content initiative and supports faculty in the adoption, adaption, and creation of free course materials. She is also the managing editor of the Journal of Scholarly Communication and Publishing. She began her career in the acquisitions department at SUNY Press and later served as Digital Publishing Librarian at Texas Tech University, where she worked on developing an affordable, digital textbook publishing program. Her research interests focus on library publishing and open education, especially the intersection of the two.

Brian Lindshield

Brian Lindshield is an associate professor in the Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health at Kansas State University. He created an OER (Kansas State University FNDH 400 Human Nutrition Flexbook) in 2010, and is a co-founder and co-leader of the Kansas State University Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative. He was an 2016/18 Open Educational Resource Research Fellow and has published multiple OER articles.

Andrew McKinney

Andrew McKinney is OER Coordinator for the Office of Library Services at CUNY’s Central Office where he helps to coordinate New York State’s generous OER funding. He is a graduate of the CUNY Graduate Center’s Ph.D. program in Sociology and has worked on open educational projects at multiple CUNY campuses, focusing mostly on open source educational technology and open pedagogy. His research interests include the political economy of the internet, the sociology of knowledge, and the economics and ethics of data collection.

Joy M. Perrin

Joy M. Perrin is Digital Initiatives Librarian at Texas Tech University Libraries. They hold a Masters of Library Science from the University of North Texas. Their research interests involve digital research trends and the management of library information technology resources. ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5524-9071

Jacquelyn Ray

Jacquelyn Ray currently serves as Director of Library Resources at Walla Walla Community College in Walla Walla, Washington. Her interests center on assessment, metacognition, student learning, and creating learning opportunities and environments that allow students to seek and cultivate their creative and/or scholarly pursuits. Jacquelyn also supports OER as a vital pathway to equity in education as a remedy to barriers to higher education.

Jennifer Raye Coronado

Jennifer Raye Coronado serves as the scholarly communication librarian for Butler University Library in Indianapolis, Indiana. In this role, she promotes and grows the institutional repository, Digital Commons @ Butler University, assists with copyright issues, and contributes to digital humanities endeavors by the Butler University community. Her current research topics include copyright education in academia, student-driven OER textbooks, and open pedagogy. She received her master of science degree in Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2017.

Michelle Reed

Michelle Reed is Director of Open Educational Resources at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. She leads efforts to support the adoption, modification, and creation of OER and assists instructors in developing learning opportunities that foster collaboration, increase engagement, and empower students as content creators. She manages the UTA CARES Grant Program and oversees the publication of OER from Mavs Open Press. Michelle is a presenter for the Open Textbook Network, presenter coordinator for the Association of College and Research Libraries’ OER and Affordability Roadshow, and a former fellow of the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program. You can find her online at @LibrariansReed and LibrariansReed.com.

John Schoppert

John Schoppert is the university librarian and chief administrator of the libraries of Oregon Tech, including libraries located on the Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro campuses, as well as the Shaw Historical Library. Working closely with the provost, he facilitates strategic planning, fosters collaborations across departments, and ensures Oregon Tech students have exemplary support in achieving their educational goals. John has worked at Columbia Gorge Community College, Pierce County Library System, and owned a community-focused bookstore in Washington State. He graduated from Emporia State University with a master’s degree in Library Science and is a candidate for an Ed.D. from Oregon State University, doing research on the intersection of librarianship and OER.

Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith is a full-time instructor in Philosophy and OER Coordinator at Houston Community College. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston College and the University of Paris, Sorbonne. His philosophical work focuses primarily on the history of philosophy, with specialization on Descartes and phenomenology. As OER Coordinator, he manages the Z-Degree program in addition to educating faculty and promoting the use of OER. He was  an OER Research Fellow in 2018/19 with the Open Education Research Group and a recipient of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Recognition of Excellence in January 2019.

Liz Thompson

Liz Thompson, Instruction and Educational Resources Coordinator, is an associate professor at James Madison University and holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science. She promotes information literacy, open access, and OER and collaborates within the university libraries and across campus in support of these efforts. She is an Open Textbook Network systems leader, has been an OER Research Fellow (through the Open Education Group), and was co-principle investigator on an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant (Supporting OA Collections in the Open: Community Requirements and Principles, LG-73-18-0226-18). Her other research interests include instructional design and educational technologies. ORCiD: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4382-5136

Heather White

Heather White is Library Technical Services and OER Coordinator at Mt. Hood Community College. She completed her master of Library Science degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, in 2004. Over the first seven years of her academic librarian career she worked in high school, college, and university libraries before settling down in community college libraries. In addition to serving as Mt. Hood Community College’s primary integrated library system administrator and coordinating library cataloging, acquisitions, serials, and e-resources management, Heather collaborates with faculty, deans, administrators, and administrative staff across the college to coordinate a variety of faculty support services for OER implementation and textbook cost savings reporting, in compliance with Oregon state laws and regulations. In 2019, thanks to an Open Oregon Educational Resources scholarship, Heather completed the Open Textbook Network’s inaugural Certificate in OER Librarianship.


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Marking Open and Affordable Courses: Best Practices and Case Studies Copyright © 2020 by Breeman Ainsworth; Nicole Allen; Jessica Dai; Abbey Elder; Nicole Finkbeiner; Amie Freeman; Sarah Hare; Kris Helge; Nicole Helregel; Jeanne Hoover; Jessica Kirschner; Joy Perrin; Jacquelyn Ray; Jennifer Raye; Michelle Reed; John Schoppert; and Liz Thompson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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