Botany in Hawaii Textbook Available

Congratulations to 2020 Leeward OER Creation Award (LOERCA) winners, Daniela Dutra Elliott and Paula Mejia Velasquez for creating, “Botany in Hawaii,” an OER textbook for Botany and Horticulture that focuses on the endemic flora of Hawai’i, where botany is bridged with the unique climate and geography of the islands. This textbook was created on the LibreTexts platform and will be used by Leeward students in BOT 101, BOT 130, and HORT 110. This was a tremendous accomplishment including original photos and illustrations. Mahalo to Daniela and Paula for publishing this unique textbook that is truly local and culturally relevant. Read about their OER journey below.

The following excerpts were originally posted in the Leeward CC Educational Media Center blog.

Daniela’s OER journey…

My experience developing OER has changed the way I teach and interact with learning materials. I teach classes in botany and agriculture and finding materials that are relevant for Hawai‘i can be a challenge. Teaching these subjects through local examples and incorporating content relevant to Hawai‘i makes learning more relevant to my students.

I started out by just wanting one of my classes to be textbook cost zero (TXT0), which meant the library purchased an electronic copy of the book I was using that students could access for free. This was the only book available for native Hawaiian plants and ecosystems. The main issue was the language used was not very accessible and most of my students were not using the materials. After attending an OER workshop sponsored by our library I got inspired to give OER a try. [Continue reading…]

Paula’s OER journey…

Creating our Botany OER textbook, “Botany in Hawaii,” has been quite an adventure, one that we hope will provide students with more relatable class materials and access to a more affordable education. In my case, I have converted all my classes to be textbook free for several years now by adopting OER textbooks. I got the inspiration for this from several of the OER workshops offered at Leeward CC. For several years I remixed and modified available OER materials from different sources to tailor them to the specific needs of each one of my classes. Given that there are not many OER Botany textbooks available, at one point I came to the realization that I was creating and modifying a considerable portion of the content instead of just mixing materials. [Continue reading…]

In addition to the LibreTexts platform, “Biology in Hawaii” is available in the UH OER and Leeward CC digital repositories. Learn more about the Leeward CC OER initiative at OER @ Leeward.

Posted by Wayde Oshiro