Attention, CUNY Faculty: Get Paid to Learn about Open Educational Resources (OER)!

"Global Open Educational Resources Logo" by Jonathasmello - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Global Open Educational Resources Logo” by JonathasmelloOwn work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

CUNY’s Office of Library Services just announced an exciting (and paid!) opportunity for full-time and part-time faculty to learn about open educational resources (OER), which include open access textbooks and other freely available, online instructional materials:

CUNY’s Office of Library Services is sponsoring an online workshop designed to provide an overview of Open Education Resources (OER) for CUNY faculty looking to integrate OER into their classes.

Open content and open access textbooks are instructional resources that can be used, reused, often remixed and customized under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others while ensuring authors retain copyright to their work. (Read more here.)

OER present an alternative to the high cost of textbooks for students. OER are freely available and distributable course materials. For this workshop the focus will be on OER materials that are:

  • Available at no cost to faculty and to students
  • Can be modified by faculty
  • Can be redistributed by faculty with changes to the original OER work.

Faculty can choose pre-existing materials, just as they do with traditional textbooks, but they can reconfigure content as they see fit, pulling elements of one text into elements of a different one, even rewriting sections, if the faculty member wishes.

OER are not just textbook material. They can include anything from entire course shells, to syllabi, to assignments, to presentations.

For students, OER means less money spent on course materials and course materials that are specifically tailored to the work of their professor. Instead of forcing a textbook into a pedagogical structure, the textbook and course materials are driven by individual pedagogy.

This class is made up of four modules, plus a final project. Each module is made up of readings, videos and discussions. Each workshop section will be comprised of no more than 20 participants in order to foster in intimate forum to share OER work and get feedback from colleagues and the facilitator. The goal is to finish the workshop with a better understanding of OER and also to come away with some work that can be immediately integrated into classes.

The workshops will be entirely on line and last for a two week period requiring approximately 10 hours of work. The activities and assignments can be completed on a flexible schedule during the time period. To be eligible for this workshop, applicants must be teaching faculty scheduled to teach in the spring 2015 semester. Department chair and Chief Academic Officer sign-off will be required. Faculty successfully completing the workshop will receive compensation of 10 hours at the non-teaching adjunct rate for participation.

Click here for registration.

Questions? Please contact: Ann Fiddler at or 646-664-8060.

Slides from Open Educational Resources Panel

If you weren’t able to attend (or chose not to take notes frantically at) the recent panel event “Open Books, Not Open Wallets: How Open Educational Resources Help Students Spend Less and Learn More,” you might be interested in the three panelists’ materials:

If open educational resources is a topic of interest to you (and how could it not be, when our students are paying so dearly for traditional textbooks?!), consider joining the CUNY Open Education Resources group on the Academic Commons or subscribing to the Open Educational Resources @ CUNY blog.  (If you subscribe to the group, you’ll get notifications about new blogs posts.)

Also: Have 20 minutes to spare?  Learn much more by walking through this short OER about OERs.

More of a visual learner?  Take a gander at this alarming chart of the costs of educational materials vs. other items from 1967 to 2012:

From Steve Ovadia’s What is OER slideshow, which also includes other compelling charts!

Open Books, Not Open Wallets: How Open Educational Resources Help Students Spend Less and Learn More

You are invited to an event in the Information Interventions @ CUNY series:

Open Books, Not Open Wallets:
How Open Educational Resources Help Students Spend Less and Learn More

Friday, March 7, 2014, 10am – noon
The Graduate Center, Segal Theater (1st Floor)
Refreshments will be served

Do your students sometimes resist buying and reading textbooks and other course materials? Open educational resources (OERs) such as free or low-cost online textbooks can save students money. There is also evidence that OERs provide deeper engagement with and closer attention paid to course material, which result in more focused teaching and learning.

Come learn about how to take advantage of new strategies and platforms to ensure that our students have access to high quality curricular materials. Library and classroom faculty from across CUNY who have developed, customized, and used OERs will share their experiences. We’ll also learn about resources and support for OERs at CUNY.

RSVP by Thursday February 27 to

Download the flyer

Sponsored by the LACUNY Scholarly Communications Roundtable, the CUNY Office of Library Services, and Just Publics @ 365.

There’s another Information Interventions @ CUNY coming up: Stay tuned for a Spring 2014 event about the controversy surrounding dissertations and open access!


Image by muffin9101985.