2022 Champion: Rauch, Susan

Presenter Information

Susan Rauch


Dr. Susan Rauch is an Assistant Professor in the Humanities and Communication Department at the Prescott campus. She received her B.A. in English, M.A. in Literature: Women and Gender Studies, and M.A. in Technical Communications from Texas State University-San Marcos. She earned her Ph.D. in Tech Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University. She currently teaches English Composition and Technical Report Writing. Dr. Rauch has been using OER since 2018 because of its affordability and equity in access for students.




Assistant Professor, Humanities and Communication

Courses Impacted

  • COM 221 Technical Report Writing
  • COM 122 English Composition
  • HU 147 Digital Media Storytelling

When did you start using OER?


Why did you adopt OER?

Affordability and equity in access for students.

Why are affordable textbooks and/or OER important?

OER considers open educational practices with an equity lens, including universal design, cultural relevance, and diverse perspectives. OER also validates students learning experiences through the affordability and access of free educational materials. It also presents unique affordances for educators because it invites both educators and students to adapt, personalize, and add relevancy to materials that inspire and encourage deeper learning in the classroom .and across institutions. Recent studies on OER have also revealed that students appreciated the no-cost online reading materials and that they preferred the online OER to a traditional textbook because of the instructor-customized chapter content from a wide array of available texts - the texts are also downloadable as PDFs for students who may have technological issues connecting to a source. Studies have also confirmed with students that OER readings are more useful and preferable to a traditional textbook without compromising student academic performance.

Open and affordable textbooks at ERAU?

There are many OER texts faculty can use and access to lesson plans, rubrics, and toolkits through OER Commons for all academic areas. Also, while it is true that affordable materials remove a significant barrier to success through equity and accessibility for all students, an open license does not ensure that the course materials or course design are inclusive of the diverse students in our classrooms. That is why it is important to talk to the ERAU librarians about how OER can work in your specific classroom. Hazy Librarians Laura Pope and Dani Carmack have been instrumental on the topic of OER and OEP on the Prescott campus. One additional but important note: while there are some really amazing quality OER textbooks available through credible resources e.g. Pressbooks, BCcampus, Lumen, OpenStax, it is important to do your research on texts you would like to use. This reason is that OERs may vary in quality, so therefore it is important for instructors to carefully evaluate an OER text before using in their classroom for authorship authority, accuracy, objectivity, coverage of topic, accessibility, license e.g. Creative Commons, and persistence e.g. url links and PDF download capability.

Estimated Savings




2022 Champion: Rauch, Susan