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ADA – East Central University Public Services Librarian Marla Lobley has been honored with a 2021 Oklahoma Online Excellence Award.

The award, presented by the Oklahoma Council for Online Learning Excellence (COLE), recognizes talent and expertise within distance learning throughout the state. Dr. Jessica Koch, an Education instructor at ECU, nominated Lobley for the award, in particular for her work with Open Educational Resources (OER). These are free learning materials that have an open license to allow for increased student engagement and the promotion of equity in education.

“I am so honored to receive this award and I am very grateful for my colleagues at ECU and in COLE who have empowered me to lead OER efforts on our campus,” Lobley said.

Lobley has worked in ECU’s Linscheid Library for four years. She earned her master’s degree in Library Science from the University of North Texas. Her role as ECU Public Services Librarian involves overseeing customer service experiences and public perception of the library.

Early on, she discovered an issue related to the availability of textbooks, which are expensive and continually replaced with newer editions.

“In my first year here, I was given a research project about OER,” Lobley said. “When I learned that they can be used as free replacements for textbooks, I became very interested in helping faculty members adopt OER for their courses so that we wouldn’t have to tell a student we didn’t have the textbook they needed. Because of that initial research and interest, over time I started collaborating with others to promote OER adoption on campus.”

Lobley will receive the award in a formal presentation later this month and be recognized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education at their meeting in the near future.

“Ms. Lobley’s service, to the library and ECU, and her effective leadership skills have proven her worthy of this prestigious Online Excellence Award,” said Dana Belcher, Linscheid Library director. “She exemplifies the University’s core values in all that she does and I’m grateful and proud that she is part of the ECU team.”


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