About

Featured Advocate: Dr. German Vargas

Dr. German Vargas

Picture of Dr. German Vargas

Position:

Chair, Department of Mathematics
Chair, USG Academic Advisory Committee on Mathematical Subjects

Institution:

College of Coastal Georgia (CCGA)

Courses transformed with with OER:

MATH 1111: College Algebra
MATH 1112: Trigonometry
MATH 1113: Precalculus
MATH 2112: Probability and Statistics

Bio:

Dr. German Vargas is the Chair of the Department of Mathematics at the College of Coastal Georgia and the Chair of the University System of Georgia’s Academic Advisory Committee on Mathematical Subjects (ACMS). When Dr. Vargas first heard about Open Educational Resources, he began to seek out and review many mathematics OER and open textbooks for potential use in his institution.

In late 2014, Dr. Vargas and his project team (Jose Lugo, Laura Lynch, Jamil Mortada, Treg Thompson, and Victor Vega) submitted a proposal for an ALG Round 2 Textbook Transformation Grant, a department-wide Transformation-at-Scale, to transform four highly-enrolled mathematics courses at CCGA. The project is currently underway, and the team is in the implementation phase of transforming four commercial textbooks to OER, including textbooks from Rice University’s OpenStax College.

As chair of the ACMS, Dr. Vargas has been sharing his work with other USG institutions, and he is collaborating with ALG mathematics efforts throughout the USG to bring about new ideas and prevent unnecessary duplicated work. Not only does he advocate for OER implementation within mathematical subjects, but he also visits other CCGA departments to talk about OER:

“I’m going door to door - I’m visiting with Economics faculty, Biology faculty, and the people in charge of our A&P [Anatomy & Physiology] textbook. By the third time that I did this, I was beginning to sound like a salesman… I’m getting 15% [commission] on $0, which is what it will cost our students.”

Watch Dr. Vargas’ presentation as part of the Celebrate Open USG webinar by using this timestamped link.

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