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Posted: 12/16/20

TAMIU Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Readies for New Website Design, OER Promotion

 

Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library
 

 

This Spring semester 2021, Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library visitors can expect to see dynamic changes in both its website appearance and resources availability as additional focus is placed on increasing user friendliness and accessibility.

Ben Rawlins, Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library director, said the new library website layout, which will launch Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, will be more visually appealing and less text-heavy.

“We have revamped the navigation to condense it into what we hope will be more concise and straightforward options,” Rawlins said, “We have implemented more icon-based navigation to make it easier for users to find what they are looking for. We’ve added buttons  for students, faculty, and other visitors so they can quickly navigate to a page with resources and services available to them.”

The Killam Library has also been promoting the availability of Open Educational Resources  (OER) through the Library among faculty and students, Rawlins said.

OER are freely available teaching and learning materials such as textbooks, course materials, videos and courses that are either in the public domain or carry an open license as is the case with a Creative Commons license, Rawlins explained.

“These materials can be used, adapted, remixed, redistributed, and retained with no or limited restrictions,” he said, “The Library has been reaching out to faculty through different means to raise awareness about OER and to help them find relevant OER they may be able to use in their courses. We have also met with members of the Student Government Association to discuss how the Library can help raise awareness among students about OER.”

OER benefits include their free availability, which reduces the cost of course materials for students and enable faculty to adapt, revise, remix and redistribute existing OER, Rawlins said. In addition, all students have access to course materials on the first day of classes and research shows that OER can lead to increased retention and student success.

Another OER benefit is that they can be updated and modified quickly and can be adapted to local needs, Rawlins said.

The Library is also working on a new OER website, separate from the new Library site, Rawlins said.

“We don’t have a specific launch date yet, but we are hoping to have it ready to launch sometime in the Spring,” he said, “The site will do a multitude of things. It will provide information on what OER is, OER activities at TAMIU and have a search feature.”

The search feature will enable faculty to search for OER and other open content in one place, Rawlins said.

“We are anticipating that it will search between 860,000 - 1 million resources from more than 150 different sources,” he said, “This will include textbooks, courses, primary sources, images, videos, and more.”

For more information, contact Rawlins at 956.326.2393, email benjamin.rawlins@tamiu.edu.

Registration for Wintermester and the Spring semester 2021 is now underway online. Spring classes begin Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. Late registration begins Monday, Jan. 25 and continues through Friday, Jan. 29. Financial aid is available.  Masks are required on campus and social distancing is maintained at all times.