Jane Palmieri, a member of the nursing faculty at Portland Community College (PCC), led an Open Oregon Educational Resources grant project to support a curriculum review of the nursing program with the goal of lowering required textbook costs. Student participation was a key element of the review process. Jane interviewed PCC nursing student Leina Kojima about the experience. More information about this project: Student Nursing Curriculum Review.
How did you first hear about open educational resources (OER)?
A PCC instructor first introduced me to OER during an orientation for a Microbiology class. It was suggested as an optional source to use for supplemental learning materials, in addition to the required text for the class.
When did you start the nursing program?
What history of OER at PCC are you aware about?
I am aware that some PCC instructors and faculty are contributors to OER. I took an online statistics course and our instructor was a contributor to the Stats Open Textbook. We had the option to purchase a textbook, or simply use the online format which he had contributed to. This was my first time using an online textbook, and the experience was incredible! I found that for my learning style, the immediate access to concise and organized information was incredibly easy to use and almost fun. As someone who is distracted easily by a lot of text, it was especially helpful to use the drop-down style text where I could hide or display text. It made it a lot easier to focus.
What did you do with the PCC Student Nurses Association (SNA) OER program this summer?
This Summer I took part in PCC SNA’s Pharmacology textbook mapping process. We were provided a working copy of the open textbook Nursing Pharmacology and asked to map out a topical outline of the material by chapter, referencing where we found the material and how applicable it was to the required Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE) competencies. In addition, we were asked to reflect on our experience afterwards.
What worked well?
The textbook seemed efficient and less daunting in this form. Nursing students are often forewarned about the difficulty of Pharmacology class, and it seems the OER material is presented and accessible in an easier to digest format. My favorite aspect is the ability to view the contents (a quick reference of each chapter) side-by-side with the text, as we often jump around in a textbook. This way we can more easily put the information together, by referencing multiple parts of a book without feeling lost. We can also open multiple tabs of the book in a browser, versus flipping through a heavy textbook. I also appreciate diagrams, colorful images, and the ability to view larger text. For me, I feel this access to learning is so much more inclusive – in that I don’t have to sacrifice quality for finances.
What could have been better for you?
When mapping the book, I chose to download an alternate PDF version of the textbook so that it would be easier to search for keywords and terms. I did not find all of the OCNE related material, and some sections of the book seemed to be lacking detail and didn’t compare to the depth of the OCNE outline.
How do you think of yourself contributing to OER at PCC Nursing into the future?
I feel proud to have been a part of this OER experience. It was a great way to step foot into a semi-virtual nursing program; I got a sneak peek into future material while also getting to know and working together with my future cohort. I would jump at the opportunity to contribute or utilize OER at PCC in the future.
Takeaway: Overall I believe OER aligns with the PCC’s values and mission statement. These days the ability to adapt and stay up to date is crucial, especially for nurses. Cheers to OER and thank you to all of the educators who contribute.