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K-State Today

October 20, 2014



McKeeman's open source text saves students money

By Patrice Scott

Leah McKeeman

A College of Education faculty member developed an open source text, which is saving students money as well as engaging them in course work at a new level.

Leah McKeeman, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, developed "World Language Methods Open Source Text" for her course Modern Language Methods for Secondary Schools and Modern Language Methods Practicum. Her resource is replacing two textbooks valued at $145, saving 20 students $3,000 for the 2014-15 school year.

"My students have been very receptive to the open source text," McKeeman said. "Being a Google Doc, they like that they can contribute to the text, too. I think it gives them a sense of ownership with the content and the class. They also like the straightforward nature of the writing and having additional resources — videos, journal articles, wikis and sample documents — embedded within the text."

The Open/Alternative Resource initiative is part of the college's technology plan — a key component to achieving its K-State 2025 objectives and philanthropic goals. In 2013, Dean Debbie Mercer provided all full-time teaching faculty with an iPad along with professional development opportunities. In 2014, the college provided iPads for all preservice teachers in their professional courses.