Faculty-created textbook free to students, wins national award

The nursing faculty at Georgia Highlands College (GHC) have been busy. A GHC faculty-created textbook called “Introduction to Nursing” is not only available to students for free – it has also been chosen for a national MERLOT Health Sciences Classics Award for 2022.

The text – used during the “Introduction to Nursing” class – covers an overview of nursing history, professional roles, professional education, legal and ethical considerations, evidence-based practice, caring, the culture of nursing, technology and informatics and nursing theories.

This is just one of many ways GHC faculty are utilizing the Open Educational Resource (OER) to eliminate textbook costs and provide free digital options for students.

OER course conversions are aided by the University System of Georgia’s Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG) initiative which promotes student success by providing cost-free alternatives to expensive textbooks. GHC’s faculty have been working since fall 2015 to expand OER courses each semester.

Because OER is open to anyone for free, students, potential students or even the public can view these resources at any time. OER textbooks can be downloaded to any smart device, phone or tablet. To view, visit affordablelearninggeorgia.org

The MERLOT system provides access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers. The MERLOT Awards program recognizes and promotes outstanding online resources designed to enhance teaching and learning and to honor the authors and developers of these resources for their contributions to the academic community.

“I am extremely proud of the faculty for their efforts to not only provide a high-quality textbook for our students in this regard, but to contribute to the nursing community in such an invaluable way,” Interim Dean for the School of Health Sciences Lisa Jellum said.”

The award will be presented virtually at the Online Learning Consortium (OLC)/MERLOT Innovate Education Reimagined Conference in March.