Dr. Juan Madrid
About Dr. Madrid
Dr. Juan Madrid is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He has been using OER in his classes since he came to UTRGV in 2020. He is passionate about saving students money on their education–especially the population served at UTRGV. Dr. Madrid's research field is astronomy, both observational and theoretical. He works in particular on globular clusters, AGN jets, and radio astronomy.
When Dr. Madrid came to UTRGV, he had to select the materials and textbooks he would adopt for his classes. He made the conscious choice then to search for freely available textbooks and to create his own assignments and teaching materials. The ultimate goal was to design zero-cost classes, or classes for which students do not need to pay any extra money at all. In his first semester at UTRGV, he taught physics using an OpenStax textbook. Through a library OER training, he learned about the additional instructional resources offered by OpenStax which enriched his course and validated his decision to use OER.
Dr. Madrid’s students have been very receptive to open textbooks and free homework systems. They have told him: "College is already expensive, we don't need the extra cost of textbooks and homework services."
The exorbitant price of textbooks in the field of physics and astronomy is still fresh in Dr. Madrid’s mind, even though his time as a student is more than a decade behind him. Because he understands the financial needs of the majority of the student population at UTRGV, he remarks that requiring his students to purchase expensive textbooks and homework services seems, frankly, immoral. Dr. Madrid never looked back on his decision to adopt open educational resources and design zero-cost classes. He has had 454 students during his time at UTRGV and is proud to say that not a single one had to pay an extra cent to take his classes. He calculates their total savings at about $142,500 in textbooks and homework systems.