Professor Kristin Kuter, Saint Mary’s College, Indiana

Greetings, LibreTexts followers. Welcome to our new faculty profile series. For our first installment we’d like to introduce you to Professor Kristin Kuter, Associate Professor of Mathematics & Computer Science at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana.

Professor Kuter teaches probability theory and statistics as a two-semester sequence. Materials for these courses were hard to come by, and Prof. Kuter didn’t want students to have to purchase two different books, one for each course. When a colleague suggested she switch to OER with LibreTexts, she decided to give it a try. She began converting notes from her probability course into an OER using LibreTexts in spring of 2019 with a goal of using this new resource in spring of 2020. Her initial notes were purposefully light on examples and exercises as she planned to have her students supplement the material with their own writing assignments throughout the semester. Saint Mary’s commitment to ensuring students develop college level writing skills in all of their courses, including those disciplines that do not typically rely on writing such as mathematics, was a driving force behind her decision to enlist her students’ help in creating OER. Open-ended writing assignments challenge them to work on their expository writing skills, she says; she decided to have them devise their own examples that they can then work through while simultaneously detailing their process in order to help them learn the material while teaching others at the same time. She also believes that students are more likely to take ownership and responsibility for their work when they know future students will be using it in their courses. The students create all of their work on the LibreTexts platform so that they can get a better idea of what they, and future peers, will be using to learn the material. Connecting everything to one centralized platform has been eye opening, she says. Her long term goal is to encourage the entire math department to go open so that the work can be shared between colleagues at Saint Mary’s and beyond. 

You can see Prof. Kuter’s work in the LibreTexts Statistics here. If you’d like to get in touch with her, you can email her at [email protected].