December 18, 2014

Three Kennesaw State faculty earn new USG awards for improvements to course materials

Affordable Learning Georgia honors faculty who created alternative textbook options for students

KENNESAW, Ga. (December 18, 2014) — Three Kennesaw State University faculty were recognized for their efforts in transforming their use of textbooks and other learning materials into lower-cost options. The awards were given as part of a new University System of Georgia initiative, Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG).

"After tuition, textbooks are the second most costly thing a student is faced with. I'm a fan of making things affordable," said Humayun Zafar, assistant professor of Information Security and Assurance at Kennesaw State, and a recipient of the ALG award. "Every class of mine is supplemented with open text. It provides an alternate view of topics to students and freshens up the course."

In addition to Zafar, Kennesaw State professors Anissa Lokey-Vega, assistant professor of Instructional Technology, and Taha Mzoughi, professor of Physics Education, were also honored.

Vega and Zafar were nominated by the University's Distance Learning Center for their work in creating open educational resources for KSU's two Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and associated courses. Vega helped create KSU's first MOOC in K-12 teacher professional development earlier this year, and Zafar's development of a MOOC in cybersecurity will launch in 2015.

Mzoughi was nominated for his work in creating a delivery platform for different technology-enhanced learning methods, as well as creating an online homework question bank for each of the courses he teaches. Mzoughi has also developed and collected a free library of simulations that students use to test and clarify physics concepts.

The Affordable Learning Georgia initiative presented these recognition awards for innovation and early success in textbook transformation to highlight the efforts of faculty who improve access and affordability of learning materials for their students by reducing the costs of textbooks and enhancing GALILEO, Georgia's virtual library.

The Kennesaw State professors were among 30 faculty members around the state to receive these inaugural awards. Winners were recognized at the "Symposium on the Future of the Textbook" Dec. 12 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education.


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.