This past fall, students in Dr. Carmela Mattza’s Spanish 2155 course were able to access their course textbook free of cost from LSU Digital Commons. Mattza, an associate professor of Spanish, published her e-textbook Variedades: Intermediate/Advanced Spanish Conversation in the University’s institutional repository, which is hosted by LSU Libraries. Articles and books in LSU Digital Commons are open access, which means they are available to everyone at no cost.
Mattza’s e-textbook is an Affordable Educational Resource (AER). AERs are offered as free or low cost resources for students. While one of the biggest benefits of AERs is financial freedom, Mattza says, “I have found OER and AER material very adaptable to my classroom needs because they are conceived, created, and designed by us (instructors or professors), the people who are doing the teaching in the classroom.” One of the greatest rewards that she has received from publishing this free course material is to share a vision: “Teaching a language is not only acquisition but also production. The book conceives the student as a disseminator of knowledge.”
She credits her students in Spanish 2155 & 2156 for inspiring her to write the book through their hard work and participation. She also gives special thanks to staff at LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network, LSU Libraries, and her teaching colleagues. When asked if she would recommend this type of project to her colleagues, she responded, “Yes, I do recommend it!”
For information on publishing Affordable Educational Resources in LSU Digital Commons, contact David Dunaway.