Sean Fitzpatrick, University of Lethbridge
"How using OER made me a better teacher"
I began working with open educational resources (OER) not long after my arrival at the University of Lethbridge. There were two immediate appeals: affordability (I could provide a textbook to students at no cost) and adaptability (I could edit the source to get the textbook I wanted). When the only commercial textbook we could find for a new course was over $300, I knew it was time to consider OER.
Later, I got involved with PreTeXt, which is an ambitious, and increasingly successful, attempt to modernize the open source textbook. I've written one book in PreTeXt, and I edit another. I'm very happy with these books. What I'm even happier with is the PreTeXt community. The people working on PreTeXt are dedicated educators. They're not writing books simply to deliver information; they're writing books focused on learning that are accessible, interactive, and engaging.
The PreTeXt community is full of educators dedicated to student-centred pedagogy. It's been my first point of contact for mastery grading, inquiry-based learning, team-based learning and other innovative practices. I'll demonstrate some of the features available in PreTeXt books, and discuss the ways in which I've been able to improve my teaching as a result.