Brooks earns PALNI’s Open Educator Award

PALSave logo

Tim Brooks, instructor of engineering, has been named by the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana, Inc. (PALNI) as a recipient of the PALSave Open Educator Award for the 2021-22 academic year. The award recognizes innovation and excellence in support of higher education, textbook affordability and student success.

Tim Brooks, instructor of engineering
Tim Brooks

As part of the PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning Program, the honorees have been key players in the creation and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER). These resources are free-access online course materials, including textbooks and other tools. The availability of these no-cost resources is proving to play a vital role in student success and retention by significantly reducing costs, improving access to required texts and saving scholars millions annually.

“This year’s Open Educator Award recipients have gone above and beyond to help advance student access, which is what OER is all about,” said Amanda Hurford, PALNI’s scholarly communications director and PALSave project lead. “With every single one of PALNI’s 24 supported institutions participating in PALSave, faculty are making a genuine impact on students’ ability to earn a degree. They have built a community of champions for affordable learning and we are excited to see their efforts benefit students now and well into the future.”

Brooks stated, “Why do I use OER? The easy answer is to save students money. However, there is another reason. Using Open Education Resources, and open sources in general, teaches the students that lifelong learning is available to them after college.” He continued, “Engineering and technology invented the web. Engineering and technology – be it suppliers, associations, universities or others – have provided updated technical resources as they come available. It is a necessity to constantly search for advances in a field as one teaches it.”

PALNI is a non-profit library-to-library collaboration made up of 24 private, academic libraries. PALSave, financed with support from Lilly Endowment Inc., provides collaborative resources and a framework for OER awareness, education and engagement. In addition, PALSave funds and supports faculty adoptions of affordable learning materials to enhance the teaching and learning missions of private higher education in Indiana.