Constructing an OER in genetics aligned with principles of equity, diversity and inclusion with supporting student learning resources

Project Team

  • Brendan D’Souza, Lecturer, Department of Biology, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science (Lead Applicant)
  • Michael Deyholos, Professor, Department of Biology, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science


  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • OER



About the Project

This project aims to create an undergraduate, introductory-level OER genetics textbook aligned with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) principles, accompanied with student learning resources. The EDI alignment makes this textbook unique over available genetics textbooks, and the range and types of learning resources represent a marked improvement over that available in current genetics OERs. The OER material will be valuable to UBCO students taking BIOL265 (Principles of Genetics), a course that has BIOL265 students registered in two sections in the current academic year. The cost benefits to students will be significant, given that most publisher-based genetics textbooks range from $130-$300. The intended publishing of the OER at an open-access platform will make the material easily accessible, long term, to a wide audience.

Human genetics is a significant component of introductory-level genetics courses and illustrates fundamental concepts in the field. A primary goal of our textbook is to ensure that the human genetics content equitably relates to the range of student identities (gender, disability, race/ethnicity). This will be achieved through several strategies, including language choices. Additionally, the accompanying learning resources provide opportunities for self-study and self-assessment that address the diverse learning needs of students.

It is envisaged that the OER textbook content will foster a classroom environment that is open to students of diverse identities and, together with the student learning resources, will foster a transformative student learning experience. Importantly, supporting student identities in this way will promote retention of students of diverse backgrounds in Biology.