Three from Trine honored with Open Educator Award

October 16, 2023

Andrea Bearman
Andrea Bearman
INDIANAPOLIS — Three Trine University staff members have been honored by the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) for their innovation and excellence in support of higher education, textbook affordability and student success.

Andrea Bearman, Director of Instructional Design and Development, Melissa Brown, Graduate Advisor, and Lauren Decker, Chair and Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, were among the nine recipients of the PALSave Open Educator Award for the 2022-23 academic year.

Melissa Brown
Melissa Brown
As part of the PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning Program, they have been key players in the creation and adoption of Open Educational Resources, or OER — a move that reduces costs for students, improves access to required texts, and increases student success and retention.

Trine University now has more than 200 courses that use OER or free materials.

“We are pleased to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of this year's Open Educator Award recipients,” said Amanda Hurford, PALNI’s Scholarly Communications Director and PALSave project lead. “High textbook costs continue to be a barrier to education, yet these individuals work tirelessly to make course materials more equitable and accessible to all students. With every single one of PALNI’s 24 supported institutions participating in PALSave, faculty and staff are reshaping the educational landscape, ensuring that every student, regardless of circumstance, has the opportunity to learn, thrive, and succeed. They have built a community of champions for affordable learning, and we’re excited to see their efforts benefit students now and well into the future.”

Lauren Decker
Lauren Decker
Bearman and Brown said OER also helps support diverse learning styles among students.

“I use OER because it not only supports diverse learning styles, it challenges learners in a more effective way,” said Brown. “PALSave is a great initiative that promotes the use of OER; I participate in PALSave to support these efforts.”

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