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Low-Cost, No-Cost, and Open Educational Resources (OER)

Call for Nominations: We are currently seeking our very first Affordable Learning Champions. If you or someone you know has been making acts of Textbook Afforabililty, please fill out the Nomination form. 

About this month's Affordable Learning Champion

Image of Naruki Hiranuma

Naruki Hiranuma, Ph.D.

Department of Life, Earth, and Environmental Science

March/April 2024

I received an NSF grant to develop open science educational resources, which have been implemented as WT science curriculum.

How do you make textbooks and learning materials cheaper for students? 

I received an NSF grant to develop open science educational resources. Based on the grant project, my research team published a journal chemical education paper, that contains public use license, publicly accessible videos, and free hands-on curricular modules to teach environmental chemistry. All procedures to implement the developed modules were typewritten during this process, and shareable read-ahead exploration materials were developed and compiled as a curricular product, which is publicly accessible for free ( Based on the formal program assessment of learning outcomes and direct (yet deidentified) student feedback, we broadly achieved our goals to (1) improve their problem-solving skills by combining multidisciplinary science and math skills and (2) disseminate data and results with variability and uncertainty.

Why do you participate in textbook affordability activities? 

The primary reason/goal of developing our open educational resources is to promote meaningful laboratory exercises to enhance the competence of students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by applying an appropriate, existing, and affordable methodology available at any institute. To achieve this goal, three laboratory modules were developed with 18 STEM interns and tested by 28 WTAMU students in a classroom setting.

Is there anything else that you would like to add? 

The developed modules can be applied at any institute to advance undergraduate and graduate curricula in environmental science. I believe such open educational resources are important because these pedagogical exercises represent (1) a creative and comprehensive practice in the field of environmental science, (2) integration of research and education within the context of university curricula targeting at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and most importantly, (3) demonstration of scientific rigor supported by intuitive and visualized hands-on instructions, which help our students. For more details, please refer to -