Making learning materials freely accessible and available to the Waterloo community is part of the Library's mission. Staebler Insurance has bolstered these efforts by donating $100,000 to the Library to support the update of open educational resources (OER) at Waterloo. The following projects have been supported by this funding: 


  • OER Implementation and Evaluation for Universal Design in Learning in Recreation and Leisure Studies (submitted by Dr. Brendan Riggin, Lecturer, Recreation and Leisure Studies). This project looks at developing a library of resources to replace a textbook for a first-year Recreation and Leisure Studies (RLS) course. Specifically, a learning module will be created to deliver content that supports the objectives of Universal Design for Learning in RLS and allows for the evaluation of the module’s effectiveness. This model can then be referenced again in upper-year courses by both students and instructors.
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Images for Teaching Across the Biological Science (submitted by Dr. Laura Lemieux, Continuing Lecturer, Biology). We intend to produce high-quality educational images of cellular and molecular biology processes that can be freely shared, modified, and utilized in several courses at the University of Waterloo and at other Ontario Universities. The curriculum in these areas in Biology is currently being revamped and we intend to use these modifiable images during this process to connect and progressively expand concepts between courses.
  • Sociology 101 eCampusOntario Textbook Update – Introduction to Sociology (submitted by Dr. Janice Aurini, Associate Professor, Sociology and Legal Studies). Each year, approximately 1200 students enrol in Sociology 101. These funds will be used to update an OER Introduction to Sociology textbook and align content with the course. These changes include updating figures and tables with the latest materials from Statistics Canada, OECD, Our World Data and similar sources and adding examples and news events that resonate with students. Providing an up-to-date textbook for free will collectively save our students thousands of dollars per year.
  • FR 473: Towards a Theory of Cultural and Linguistic Minorization, Examples from French Speaking Communities in Canada (submitted by Dr. Élise Lepage, Associate Professor, French Studies). This project will expand Lepage’s existing open textbook, Penser la minorisation culturelle et linguistique: Exemples de communautés francophones au Canada, to cover communities in Western Canada and to address the evolving realities of linguistic minorities.


  • Building an accurate and learner-centered library of scientific artwork in the area of human physiology (submitted by Dr. Vivian Dayeh, Continuing Lecturer, Biology). A pivotal component of learning and teaching in the medical sciences is the use of accurate and consistent images to support instruction. This project will create a complete library of image assets to be used in the instruction of human physiology that will be openly available to all learners. 
  • Calculus 1 for the sciences (Math 127/128) (submitted by Dan Wolczuk, Continuing Lecturer, Mathematics). After substantial updates to the approach to teaching introductory calculus to science students, there is an identified need for resources that match this new direction. This project will create accessible course notes that can benefit science students across Canada and beyond. 
  • Empowering English as an Additional Language (EAL) students: designing scientific diagrams that cross language barriers (submitted by Dr. Sarah Ruffell, Lecturer, Biology). This project will create and design scientific images that don't require English labelling or detailed explanations to support the learning of students with English as an Additional Language. 
  • An introduction to transportation engineering principles and application (submitted by Dr. Pezhouhan Tavassoti-Kheiry, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering). This project will create sustainable and accessible course notes to support the learning of students and can be easily updated and tailored to the Canadian context of transportation engineering. 


*The pilot year (2022-2023) was funded by donors to the University of Waterloo Library Fund.