Mary Sterenberg Receives Affordable Learning Grant

February 10, 2017
Mary Sterenberg

Mary Sterenberg, School of Communication lecturer, received a grant, through Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX). Sterenberg will use the grant to replace the required textbook for COMM 3334, Strategic Message Design, with a series of eight to 10 videos featuring established professionals explaining course content. Alyson Moses, School of Communication lecturer, is collaborating with Sterenberg on this project, along with an undergraduate student who is supporting the project as an independent study.

“The videos will shift the courses away from a lecture-based course to an applied course,” Sterenberg said. “Basically, the textbook is outdated because communication is always changing.”

ALX 2016-2017 grant recipients

ALX is part of President Michael Drake’s 2020 Vision to support scholarships, academic programs and new ideas that promote affordable learning. ALX funds and supports instructors who want to replace their conventional course materials with open educational resources or other low-cost alternatives. In addition to Sterenberg’s project, twelve others were selected for funding through ALX grants this year.

Sterenberg belongs to the second-ever class of ALX grant recipients, and is the second School of Communication professor to receive an ALX grant. Jasmine Roberts, lecturer, received a grant last year. Roberts created a free online textbook for COMM 2321, Writing for Strategic Communication.      

The professionals highlighted in the course videos will talk about the key concepts from the textbooks in relation to their work experience. Sterenberg believes students will greatly appreciate the opportunity to build relationships with local professionals. She has had ideas for the project for a while and her funding and ability to work with a project manager will help the idea become a reality.  She wants to create a database of informative videos where professionals can add their own as well.

Article written by student Melissa Klein