Amy Blau is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Her major responsibilities are in reference and instruction and repository management. Data services, web archiving, and open access/OER are additional areas of interest. Her MS in Information is from the University of Michigan and her PhD in Comparative Literature is from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
In her capstone project, “Homework systems and OER: Finding and evaluating homework systems to use with open textbooks,” Amy examines the ecosystem of homework systems that are compatible with open textbooks for college-level courses. One component of this study is an environmental scan of resources to find and evaluate homework systems. The report recommends a few specific websites and tools that may be especially helpful for librarians or faculty members who are seeking a homework system to accompany an open textbook. Another component addresses the use of homework systems at Whitman College through a survey of selected faculty to identify their priorities in using (or not using) homework systems, and a case study on finding a new homework system for the general chemistry sequence. The survey instrument is included as an appendix to the report. A further resource related to the project is a Zotero group library of scholarly articles and other literature related to homework systems and adaptive learning.