Open Educational Resources (OER)

SUNY Oneonta's General Education Pathway OER initiative

SUNY Oneonta has received grant funding from SUNY for the purpose of creating a way for students to complete their General Education requirement using Open Educational Resources on our campus.

Projects currently being funded include:

  • The creation of an original OER textbook for Spanish 101 and 102
  • The creation of an original OER textbook for Education 106
  • The creation of an interactive tutoring program for students enrolled in various Calculus courses
  • Numerous other courses that have adopted OER from existing sources

Following a model implemented by other SUNY Campuses, participating faculty will be paid a stipend for conversion on the following schedule, which will be maintained until the 2018-19 Tier 2 funds have been depleted:

OER Conversion of Gen Ed Course where OER options are currently available:

* Step 1: $500 one-time stipend to be paid to faculty who meet with the library and/or TLTC OER support staff and convert one course to at least 51% OER that is free of cost for students. Payment is awarded upon successful completion of a course review with the TLTC Instructional Designer.

* Step 2: $500 one-time stipend to be paid to faculty who teach the converted course at least one time and meet with the TLTC Instructional Designer for a summative review of the OER learning resources and final course review.

o No faculty shall receive extra funding for multiple sections of the same course. Faculty can, however, receive multiple rounds of funding for conversion of multiple courses. All funded faculty must teach at least one course of a minimum of 3 credits. These include lectures, seminars, and labs that require texts for student use.

o Awarded faculty will receive support through TLTC, The Faculty Center and Milne Library as they revise their courses.

o The funding will be awarded through the TLTC upon successful completion of each step.

o In the case of courses with multiple faculty across sections: all faculty members that commit to the OER initiative can be awarded. This would not be limited to coordinators of courses.

OER Creation:

* High priority and high enrollment general education courses for which OER isn’t currently available may require development projects to create the OER resources. Development projects will be funded on a case-by-case basis, based on available funding in the OER budget

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation provides the following definition of open educational resources:

“OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”

In other words, “OER” is a very broad term.

The key distinguishing factor is the copyright status of the material. If course content is copyrighted under traditional, all-rights-reserved copyright, then it’s not OER, no matter where it resides on the spectrum of free to low cost to paid. If it resides in the public domain, or carries Creative Commons or similar open copyright status, then it is OER.

This material is adapted from Understanding OER by SUNY OER Services, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

A useful way to appreciate the value of OER is to understand what you, the user of openly licensed content, are allowed to do with it. These permissions are granted in advance, and are legally established through Public Domain or Creative Commons copyrights:

  1. Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  2. Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

This material is adapted from "Defining the 'Open' in Open Content and Open Educational Resources" by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

SUNY OER Services has created a series of six independent mini-courses that will introduce you to the fundamental principles and effective practices related to Open Educational Resources, and allow you to focus on the aspects of OER that most appeals to your interests.

You can access these self-paced courses for more information about OER at any time, or you can sign up for facilitated courses, where you would go through a course with a cohort and facilitator.

OER Community Course Features:

  • take them in any order
  • take them on your own, or as part of a facilitated cohort
  • take as many or as few as your needs and interests
  • earn a Credly badge for completion of each mini-course
  • free to all SUNY employees

Explore the courses

The best way to find OER is to talk with one of our OER support team from the TLTC, Faculty Center and Library. We can better get an idea of what you are looking for, and where there may be resources. Where to find open content depends on the type of content you are looking for.

Finding Open Textbooks

Ready-to-Adopt OER from SUNY OER Services: SUNY OER services offers campuses user-friendly technology to adopt, adapt, and tailor existing OER for individual needs, as well as providing guidance for creating and distributing new materials.

Lumen Learning: With a variety of course materials, Candela from Lumen Learning is more than just a textbook — it’s an extremely affordable alternative to expensive textbooks at the college level.

Open Textbook Library: The University of Minnesota maintains the Open Textbook Library. This is a repository of original open books that have been adopted at other major universities. The University of Minnesota allows other faculty members to review books, and makes those reviews available to potential adopters.

BC Open Textbooks: Textbooks at BC Open Textbooks are created (or, where possible, re-created from existing open educational resources) by BC post-secondary faculty, reviewed by B.C. faculty and made available under a Creative Commons license.

Directory of Open Access Books: The primary aim of DOAB is to increase discoverability of Open Access books. The directory is open to all publishers who publish academic, peer reviewed books in Open Access.

OAPEN Library: The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of humanities and social sciences. OAPEN works with publishers to build a quality controlled collection of open access books, and provides services for publishers, libraries and research funders in the areas of deposit, quality assurance, dissemination, and digital preservation.

OER Commons Textbook Hub: ISKME's digital librarians have curated collections of Open Textbooks and supplementary resources to help leverage OER in your classroom. Whether you are looking for more affordable options for your students, or dynamic content to inspire your own teaching and learning practice, this hub, organized by discipline and provider will help you discover the resources you need at your fingertips.

OpenStax Textbooks: OpenStax is a nonprofit educational initiative based at Rice University. OpenStax publishes publish high-quality, peer-reviewed, openly licensed college textbooks that are absolutely free online and low cost in print. OpenStax has also developed low-cost, research-based courseware that gives students the tools they need to complete their course the first time around.

Open Textbook Library: The Open Textbook Library provides a growing catalog of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks.

SUNY Open Textbooks: Open SUNY Textbooks is an open access textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants. This pilot initiative published high-quality, cost-effective course resources by engaging faculty as authors and peer-reviewers, and libraries as publishing service and infrastructure.

Finding Open Courses

Lumen Learning: Lumen Learning: Lumen provides a simple, well-supported path for faculty to teach with open educational resources inside the LMS.

MIT Open Courseware: Open SUNY MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.

Open Course Library: A collection of high quality, free-to-use courses that you can download and use for teaching. All content is stored in Google docs making it easy to access, browse and download.

Open Learning Initiative: The Open Learning Initiative (OLI) is a grant-funded group at Carnegie Mellon University, offering innovative online courses to anyone who wants to learn or teach.

Saylor Academy Saylor Academy is a nonprofit initiative working since 2008 to offer free and open online courses to all who want to learn.

Finding Open Learning Objects

MASON OER Metafinder: The Mason OER Metafinder searches seventeen targets in real-time, instantly returning the top several hundred or so relevant hits from each site.

MERLOT: The MERLOT collection consists of tens of thousands of discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and Content Builder webpages, together with associated comments, and bookmark collections, all intended to enhance the teaching experience of using a learning material. All of these items have been contributed by the MERLOT member community, who have either authored the materials themselves, or who have discovered the materials, found them useful, and wished to share their enthusiasm for the materials with others in the teaching and learning community. All the materials in MERLOT are reviewed for suitability for retention in the collection. Many undergo the more extensive "peer review" for which MERLOT is famous.

OASIS: Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) is a search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. OASIS currently searches open content from 51 different sources and contains 152,779 records.

OER Commons: OER Commons offers a comprehensive infrastructure for curriculum experts and instructors at all levels to identify high-quality OER and collaborate around their adaptation, evaluation, and use to address the needs of teachers and learners.

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