Third Annual Open Education Award Winner

IUPUI University Library holds Third Annual Open Education Awards


INDIANAPOLIS— March 21, 2021

This award was created to recognize the work of IUPUI faculty members who have been committed to integrating Open Educational Resources (OERs) into their coursework.

 OER Award Winner Dr. Wang

IUPUI University Library is excited to announce that Dr. Lixin Wang is the winner of the third annual IUPUI Open Education Award. The IUPUI Open Education Award was created to celebrate professors at IUPUI that are in the process of adopting or currently using OER materials in their classrooms. This award comes with recognition of Dr. Wang’s hard work, a commemorative plaque, and a monetary prize.  

The committee was impressed with Dr. Wang’s use of open resources when creating the new course Climate Change and Society (GEOL-G477). Using open resources has saved students hundreds of dollars that would have gone toward purchasing a traditional textbook. IUPUI has identified the cost of textbooks as a major barrier to student success. Furthermore, we enjoyed reading about the use of open pedagogy such as using open and primary resources to enhance active learning in the classroom.

Dr. Wang created a new course “Climate Change and Society (GEOL-G477)” for junior/senior level students to fill in a curriculum gap in the BS Environmental Science program in the Department of Earth Sciences in 2018. Because climate change is a well-discussed topic, there are plenty of online resources available to cover different aspects of the topic. Therefore, instead of relying on expensive textbooks, Dr. Wang decided to create an Open Educational Resource (OER) for this course building on two existing resources. One of the resources is the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) assessment report and another is Fourth National Climate Assessment. Both reports are available in the public domain and everyone can freely download them.

Dr. Wang noted “the benefits of using primary literature instead of traditional textbooks are twofold. The first is to enhance students’ active learning, because the students are interacting with scientific artifacts to extract information and must make interpretations of the data presented, rather than having a more diluted version of the same material from a textbook. Secondly, it encourages students to consider where the information in traditional textbooks come from and gives them agency to find accurate information on climate change. This is a life skill that will potentially contribute to their future civic engagement.”


What are OERs?

According to the Hewlett Foundation, OERs are teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have licenses that permit their free use and re-purposing by others.  Resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. 

Where can I find out more about OERs

IUPUI’s OER Guide:

Contact Justin Kani jkani @

Resources mentioned:

  1. Dr. Wang’s personal website:
  2. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report
  3. National Climate Assessment (NCA)

Updated Mar 22, 2021 by Webmaster