FACULTY SPOTLIGHT : Dr. Katharine Jager
About Dr. Jager
Dr. Katharine Jager, Associate Professor of English, was one of 2020-2021’s awardees in the CTLE’s Online Course Development Initiative (OCDI), and we are proud of the engaging, visually appealing, content-rich course she was able to produce through this initiative. The focus of last year’s funding was Open Educational Resources (OER), materials created for teaching and learning (videos, websites, activities, textbooks, etc.) that are made for sharing, reusing, and/or modifying, usually are created by educators for educators, and are usually marked with a Creative Commons license to that effect. There is typically no cost to the student or the instructor with OER, such as in the case of works that are in the public domain. Dr. Jager’s target course was ENGL 2313: Survey of British Literature: Beginnings to 1800, and through her OCDI funding, she was able to bring what was, historically, an under-enrolled course, into the online format, all the while creating an affordable and engaging course for our students. While it didn’t prove challenging to find course materials in the public domain to integrate into her course, the real challenge for Dr. Jager was integrating them into UHD technology tools such as Perusall and VoiceThread and still maintaining the richness of editorial information (glosses, line numbering, definitions, historical contextualization, etc.). Thanks to the funding and support provided by OCDI, Dr. Jager was able to produce her own set of glosses, notes, and explanations of historical context for thousands of lines of text.
“The OCDI grant funds meant that I could focus on glossing and annotating OER sources in ways that provide students with an “entry point” into the text. This was a substantial amount of labor, given that none of the excerpts from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales or Shakespeare’s King Lear included any notes or explanation. So while these resources were “free,” they were not entirely accessible to UHD students, and I had to use Perusall to explain things that students might otherwise miss,” Dr. Jager reports.