Dr. Ranjan Rohatgi is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana. He has always looked for ways to avoid using expensive texts for his courses. He had used OER in the past, but not in a way that gave him control over the content in the way LibreTexts has. For his Discrete Mathematics course he requested that LibreTexts harvest Oscar Levin’s book into the platform where he was able to adapt it for his course; this included writing a couple of chapters of his content, as well as some homework problems, to include in the new custom text.
When the textbook he had been using for his finite math course was going out of print, he decided to make the switch to OER for that course as well. For his finite math course, Dr. Rohatgi also received a grant to make videos to accompany his text in order to help flip the class. He utilizes Lightboard, a large pane of glass with a camera he stands behind that mirrors whatever is written on it back to the students. He then creates 3-5 minute videos to accompany the homework problems he’s created for the course; all of this content is hosted on LibreTexts. In his finite math course he had worried that his students were struggling with the content because they were asking a lot of questions, and as he wasn’t delivering the content face-to-face, he worried they might be falling behind. He then realized that he was only engaging with the students when they had questions, and those who were grasping the content on their own weren’t seeking his assistance; when they did well on their first test he realized his concerns were unfounded. According to Dr. Rohtagi, the biggest advantage of hosting a flipped class on LibreTexts is the ability to separate his course into sections and make it look exactly as he’d like it to look for his students.
Dr. Rohatgi has used his OER in LibreTexts as the only required resources for two of his courses; he and a colleague are also working on developing OER for two additional courses using the LibreTexts platform.
To find out more about Dr. Rohatgi’s work, he can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.