SUS faculty, students get access to free digital textbooks and open education resources
- Friday, September 2, 2016
The Southern University System (SUS) announces the recent launch of the Southern University Open Online Library for Education
(SUOL), the first of several diverse components of Southern
University's Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) initiative, created in
partnership with California State University (CSU) and the Multimedia
Education Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT).
SUOL eLearning portal represents the SU System's commitment to
promoting student success by providing affordable educational
alternatives to traditional textbooks and quality digital learning
materials for learning and online teaching. SUOL provides a wealth of
open educational resources (OER) for students, faculty, and staff in one
The SU System in April, signed a
partnership Memorandum of Understanding with CSU and the MERLOT
organization, for the design and deployment of Southern University’s
Affordable Learning Solutions Initiative, and to create the Southern
University Open Online Library for Education.
will enable SUS faculty to conveniently and successfully choose high
quality no-cost and low-cost course materials for designing and
delivering online courses and online programs, enable SU students to
easily and equitably have access to the high quality no-cost and
low-cost course materials for their courses, allow SU administrators to
easily and accurately measure the savings for students being produced by
the SU AL$ program over time, and measure the benefits for students'
learning by having immediate and reliable access to high quality no-cost
and low-cost course materials for their courses.
onset, we knew this incredible opportunity to work with a proven and
dedicated team of professionals would lend itself to establishing viable
and advanced learning and teaching assets for our faculty and
students," said SU System President Ray L. Belton.
"The SU Online
Library for Education opens a pathway to a virtual universe of
resources at a critical time in light of our budget challenges," added
SUOL will enable SUBR faculty to develop online courses
and programs using free and quality Open Education Resources, but also
to develop educational multimedia resources and open textbooks to
contribute back to the OER and Open Access (OA) global movements.
worked tirelessly this summer with Dr. Gerry Hanley and his development
team at California State University System to complete a first version
of the Southern University Online Library for Education. I am very
satisfied with what we have accomplished and envision this project to be
very significant to building 21st century eLearning infrastructure for
the Southern University System of Louisiana,” said professor Moustapha
Diack, lead of SUS AL$ project and chair of the SUBR Doctoral Program in
Science/Mathematics Education (SMED), and director, MERLOT Africa
Diack is cofounder, with CSU's Gerry Hanley,
assistant vice chancellor, academic technology services, of MAN, a
network of more than 42 African higher education institutions.
key goal of SUOL is inviting and supporting faculty to adopt free and
open etextbooks and create ePortfolios for capturing and sharing their
adoption process, supporting a staff development program for IT staff
and librarians so they are knowledgeable and skilled at supporting
faculty and students adopting and using no-cost and low-cost course
materials, developing ePortfolio templates that will be customized and
branded for HBCUs using MERLOT’s Content Builder, and supporting the
adoption/adaption of the CSU's quality assurance of instruction program
for HBCUs that includes the inclusivity of content and pedagogy.
Faculty feedback on the new SUOL innovative resource is encouraging.
beyond thrilled. I've spent time selecting materials to be included in
my courses this semester. I've even had the opportunity to view a
criminal justice course and get some new ideas on aesthetic value. This
is going to be huge for our faculty and students, alike," said Chenika
Jones, associate professor of criminal justice.
that as more faculty are introduced to the portal, the opportunity for
the SU System to create a virtual infrastructure that will enable us to
provide documented college affordability to our student population, with
free textbooks and educational resources, will be greatly enhanced.
Professional development and faculty training will be scheduled throughout the fall semester with contribution from CSU.
University's John B. Cade Library dean and staff, who play a key role
in the integration of a virtual infrastructure for the University, is
supporting the SUOL initiative by offering four small stipends to
faculty who are willing to replace their traditional textbook with an
"The goal is to reduce student expenses for books
required in the classroom and replace with quality Open Educational
Resources. The library is excited and ready to support faculty and
students in this important elearning initiative," said Perry.
For questions and further information about the library stipends, contact Dawn Kight at 771-4934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.