Open Access, Open Data, and Open Educational Resources

Tag Archives: open educational resources

Announcing New Open Textbook: Cell Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry for Pre-Clinical Students by Renee LeClair

Book cover for Cell Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry for Pre-Clinical Students by Renee LeClair

Cover Art: Adapted from Biochemlife CC BY SA 4.0
Cover Design: Kindred Grey

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Virginia Tech Publishing are pleased to announce publication of a new open textbook by Renée LeClair, Ph.D., titled, Cell Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry for Pre-Clinical Students.

Cell Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry for Pre-Clinical Students ( is an undergraduate medical school-level resource for foundational knowledge across the disciplines of genetics, cell biology and biochemistry. This USMLE-aligned text is designed for a first-year undergraduate medical course that is delivered typically before students start to explore systems physiology and pathophysiology. The text is meant to provide the essential information from these content areas in a concise format that would allow learner preparation to engage in an active classroom. Clinical correlates and additional application of content is intended to be provided in the classroom experience. The text assumes that the students will have completed medical school prerequisites (including the MCAT) in which they will have been introduced to the most fundamental concepts of biology and chemistry that are essential to understand the content presented here. This resource should be assistive to the learner later in medical school and for exam preparation given the material is presented in a succinct manner, with a focus on high-yield concepts.


Announcing Open Textbook: Aerodynamics and Aircraft Performance

The University Libraries at Virginia Tech in collaboration with Dr. James F. Marchman, III, Emeritus Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Virginia Tech are pleased to announce publication of open textbook, Aerodynamics and Aircraft Performance, 3rd edition. 

Aerodynamics and Aircraft Performance, 3rd edition is a 236-page introduction to aircraft aerodynamics and performance. The objective of this text is to provide a “stand alone” coverage of basic, subsonic, aircraft performance preceded by an introduction to the basics of aerodynamics that will provide a background sufficient to the understanding of the subjects to be studied in aircraft performance. This text is designed for a course in Aircraft Performance that is taught before students take courses in fluid mechanics, fluid dynamics, or aerodynamics and is meant to provide the essential information from these types of courses that is needed for teaching basic subsonic aircraft performance, and it is assumed that the students will learn the full story of aerodynamics in other, later courses.

Cover credit: Kindred Grey

Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction to Aerodynamics
Chapter 2. Propulsion
Chapter 3. Additional Aerodynamics Tools
Chapter 4. Performance in Straight and Level Fight
Chapter 5. Altitude Change: Climb and Guide
Chapter 6. Range and Endurance
Chapter 7. Accelerated Performance: Takeoff and Landing
Chapter 8. Accelerated Performance: Turns
Chapter 9. The Role of Performance in Aircraft Design: Constraint Analysis
Appendix A: Airfoil Data

Free Access to Aerodynamics and Aircraft Performance, 3rd edition
A full table of contents, downloadable versions of this book (PDF and ePub), and additional information are freely available at: An accessible, online version of this book is also available via the Pressbooks platform at Print on demand versions may be ordered with a variety of binding options from

Instructors reviewing, adopting, or adapting parts or the whole of the text are requested to register their interest at: 

Creative commons attribution 4.0 license

Unless otherwise noted, the text and figures are released under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 license which allows adaptation and redistribution with attribution. See the license terms and best practices for attribution for additional information.

Audience This college undergraduate-level text requires prior introduction to the most fundamental concepts of statics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, and basic conservation laws which are usually covered in a university level Physics sequence. It is also assumed that students will have completed first-year university level calculus sequence plus a course in multivariable calculus. Separate courses in engineering statics and dynamics are helpful but not necessary. Any student who takes a course using this text after completing courses in aerodynamics or fluid dynamics should find the chapters of this book covering those subjects an interesting review of the material.

Developing Custom Version(s) in Community Instructors and subject matter experts interested in forming collaborative efforts to develop and share their own version(s) of the material are requested to join the project-update conversation on the Rebus Foundation open-textbooks-in-development website.

Suggested citation: Marchman, James, III. (2021). Aerodynamics and Aircraft Performance. Blacksburg: VA: University Libraries at Virginia Tech. CC BY 4.0.

About the Author: Dr. James F. Marchman, III is Professor Emeritus of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering and a former Associate Dean of Engineering at Virginia Tech where he taught and conducted research in aerodynamics, aircraft performance, aircraft design and other areas over a 40 year career. His textbook, Aircraft Design Projects For Engineering Students, coauthored by Professor Lloyd R. Jenkinson of Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, [Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003] has been used by students around the world.

Cover art:

  • The Centuria is a design for a lightweight general aviation four-place aircraft created by Virginia Tech and Loughborough University Aerospace Engineering, Industrial & Systems Engineering, or Aeronautical Engineering students. Used with permission. Courtesy of Dr. Marchman.
  • Cloud background by Alan Levine. Public Domain. Retrieved and adapted from

Instructors reviewing, adopting, or adapting parts or the whole of the text are requested to register their interest at:

We hope it takes off!

Recapping the 2018 & 2019 Open Education Symposiums at Virginia Tech

OER are More than Just $Free

Open Educational Resources (OER) are expert-authored and freely-shared learning materials available in various formats. They are not just textbooks and they enable much more than resources which are “low” or zero cost. OER are licensed to be customized, can be used in-part or as a whole, and can be adapted, combined and re-shared (with proper attribution) to create something new that fits a particular purpose. This transformation affordance significantly sets them apart from resources that are temporary (rented), or described as low-cost, zero-cost, or affordable.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely and publicly available teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. They include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. – adapted from the Hewett Foundation

Graph of price changes for U.S. consumer goods
By using, curating, and sharing OER, course-material selectors can reduce cost-related barriers faced by their students and beyond. Course materials cost far now than more than even 20 years ago. College textbooks have among the highest rates of price increases among U.S. goods and services according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These costs are real for students and have significant personal, ethical, and academic impacts.

Used with Permission. © 2018 Mark Perry, American Enterprise Institute


Affordances of OER, beyond financial savings

Open educational resources afford control to institutions and course-material selectors in making course materials permanently available to ALL learners, even after they leave school.

By virtue of their open license or Public Domain status, OER allow adaptation and customization. (While there are many open licenses, including open source software licenses, Creative Commons licenses are the most-well-known open licenses.)

Imagine being able to update course materials on the spot to enhance relevance to current events, or to clarify a concept. Imagine giving learners the freedom and responsibility to exercise higher-order level thinking skills and demonstrate their knowledge by evaluating, adapting, or creating new materials. In order to drive these points home, the University Libraries at Virginia Tech hosted the recent 2018 & 2019 Open Education Symposiums. Hosted in the spring, each symposium feature leaders, practitioners, explorers, students, and champions selected in part of the basis of their ability to illuminate affordances of open educational resources. The following recordings document major events held during the 2018 and 2019 symposiums.


Open Education Symposium 2019: Expanding Open Education in Colleges & Universities


2019 Keynote: Improving Access, Affordability, & Achievement with OER

MJ Bishop, Associate Vice Chancellor and inaugural director of the University System of Maryland’s Center for Academic Innovation

Despite the transformative power that technology has had in a whole range of businesses, the history of technology use in education over the last 100 years paints a rather bleak picture of the extent to which digital tools, in and of themselves, can lead to sustainable academic change. The issue is that we often miss the key affordances of the tools that can be employed to help solve learning problems. This presentation traces the lessons we can learn from the history of educational technology in order to explore the true promise — the true affordances — of openly licensed educational resources and the future they may hold for teaching, learning, and student success.

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2019 Lightning Round Talks and Poster Presentations

Presenters: Garnett Kinniburgh, Sue Erickson, Christine H. Terry, Robert Browder, Matthew DeCarlo, Lisa Becksford, Jason Lachniet, and Britton Hipple. Moderators: Alex Kinnaman and Kayla McNabb

Faculty, instructional designers, graduate students, and librarians from six institutions of higher education introduce their peer-reviewed posters with lightning-round style talks. Topics including: Creating open educational resources, linking open education and the career center, #openlearning19 a cMOOC for exploring open education, class book projects, introduction to Odyssey an open learning object repository, open software for graphic, and campus responses to the use of open educational resources.

View poster proceedings and event video.


2019 Panel Discussion: Facilitating Openness at the University: Connecting the Opens + Making Change Happen

Panelists: MJ Bishop, Benjamin Corl, Karen DePauw, Diana Franco Duran, Ellen Plummer, Nathaniel Porter, Peter Potter. Moderator: Anita Walz

This panel discussion begins with brief presentations of several “core open practices”: Open Access, Open Education/Open Educational Resources, and Open Data by experts from the University Libraries at Virginia Tech. Faculty, administration, and student panelists from diverse disciplines discuss their rationale for exploring and in some cases adopting and championing open practices, their perception of overlaps in philosophy and values between different types of open practices, perceptions of the value of open practices for individuals, disciplines, and institutions, and barriers, opportunities, and processes to adopting open educational practices on an institutional level.

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Open Education Symposium 2018: Open Pedagogy

2018 Keynote: Open Educational Practices: Equity, Achievement, and Pedagogical Innovation

Rajiv Jhangiani, Special Advisor to the Provost, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, British Columbia

This presentation draws on a diverse set of examples to make a case for why the shift away from traditional (closed) practices is not only desirable but also inevitable, and how open educational practices (OEP) support the modern university’s mission by serving academic achievement, faculty and student engagement, diversity & inclusion, pedagogical innovation, and the university’s Land-grant mission.

OEP support teaching, learning, and publication in an increasingly diverse faculty and student body. OEP encompass the creation, adaptation, and adoption of open educational resources, open course development, and even the design of renewable, real-world assignments where students are empowered as co-creators of knowledge. These practices leverage learning beyond socio-economic disparities and put engaged, active student (and faculty) learning at the center. These practices champion academic freedom, pedagogical innovation, applied approaches, and innovation. OEP represents learner-centered and learning-together approaches to education that radically enhance both agency and access.


2018 Panel Discussion: Getting Comfortable Working in the Open

Panelists: Matthew DeCarlo, Susan Erickson, James Harder, Jennifer Kidd, Kathryn Murphy-Judy, Carrie Hamilton, Savannah Aigner, Amy Nelson. Moderator: Anita Walz

Taking a transparent, public or open approach to one’s work as an instructor or academic can be daunting for even the most competent and skilled faculty. Faculty, students, and a librarian from five different Virginia institutions of higher education are involved in working in the open — in their teaching, publishing, creating with students, and/or building or leveraging learning experiences. Panelists discuss their motivations, opportunities leveraged, and challenges they encounter in taking non-traditional and open approaches to teaching, learning, and publishing.

Further Details

Virginia Tech’s Open education event recordings from 2014 forward are hosted in VTechWorks. Further details about past open education week events at Virginia Tech are also available.

Open Education Week is an annual celebration of the global Open Education Movement designed to raise awareness about the movement and its impact on teaching and learning worldwide. Open Education Week is organized by the Open Education Consortium. For further details see: #oeweek