By Stasia Pasela
The CUNY Office of Library Service has a new report on Open Education Resources (OER) at CUNY. (scroll down)
The report highlights the Governor’s $8M investment (FY 2018) for CUNY and SUNY to mitigate the cost of textbooks with scalable and sustainable adoption of open educational resources (OER). CUNY is focusing on high-enrollment general education courses, and has seen a significant impact in cost savings to students: $9.5 million saved for more than 76,000 students in over 2,800 newly converted course sections. The funding has laid the groundwork to accelerate the conversion of general education courses to OER and to explore scaling to “Z-degrees” which are programs with no textbook costs.
The creation of OER teams and system-level support is encouraged by OLS. One example, the CUNY SUNY collaboration http://www.open-nys.org –a repository of information for faculty to explore OER across both systems. (see “How I Adopted OER in My Course”)
The report identifies examples of CUNY OER innovation, adoption, and scaling –the later receiving significant emphasis. Expanding technology literacy in Computer Science introductory courses across CUNY is one example to note. The leadership of Jean Armaral, Associate Professor and Open Knowledge Librarian at the Borough of Manhattan Community College is highlighted. (Prof. Armaral is also an elected Senator representing BMCC.) The report says she is an OER Champion along with Cailean Cooney, Assistant Professor and Open Educational Resources Librarian from CUNY’s New York City College of Technology. The professional development programs and leadership they created to support their campus colleagues pursuing OER innovation is lauded. The Champions site collaboration as key and Prof. Armaral says, “OER’s benefits go beyond saving students money…[they] engage faculty and student learning communities, moving students from knowledge consumers to knowledge creators.”
There is a list of top ten OER sections created by discipline – Criminal Justice is number ten and Mathematics at the top of the list. (see page 15.)
Future goals for OER at CUNY are presented in the report. One is investing system-level resources to advance OER adoption and sustainability which will leverage economies of scale. The goal includes an OER Commons digital library and participation in the Open Education Consortium (international). Research on the long-term impact of OER conversion, as a randomized controlled trial, is also noted.
Before you click over to the OER Report, do you and your colleagues have OER thoughts, concerns, and insights from experience? Write a post for the UFS blog — which is a forum for CUNY Faculty welcoming the expression of all points of view. Please send questions and submissions to Stasia Pasela, Editor.