Open Educational Resources (OER) are texts, courseware, and resources that are shared with a license that allows for free reuse and repurposing by others. At SUNY Oneonta, General Education courses are being prioritized for conversion to impact the highest number of students. Faculty interested in converting courses to open educational resources (OER) are invited to apply for a course conversion stipend.
SUNY defines an OER course as containing at least 51% openly licensed materials. To be eligible for inclusion in the initiative, the majority of your course materials have to be shared with an open license. In addition:
- Students will have free day 1 digital access to course materials.
- Students can access materials in multiple formats, including print if desired.
- Accessibility and Universal Design Principles are applied to materials used.
Exploring Open Educational Resources:
Faculty who wish to explore Open Educational Resources and their use in classes are supported by a team from the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center and Milne Library. To start a conversation with a team from the TLTC and library, please fill out the form below.
Fill out the form to:
- Schedule a meeting to learn what open content is and why it may benefit your students.
- Help find OER for the classes you are teaching.
- Integrate OER seamlessly into your Blackboard course.
- Get alternative formats of content including printable versions and bound books.
- Instructors are encouraged to consult with the team at any stage of adoption.
OER Conversion of General Education/High Enrollment Courses***:
Following a model implemented by other SUNY Campuses, participating faculty will be paid a stipend for conversion of a course to OER on the following schedule, which will be maintained until grant funds have been depleted.
- Individual Award: Provides $1000 stipend to faculty who meet with the library and/or TLTC OER support staff and convert one course to at least 51% OER. The remaining percentage of course materials must also free of cost for students. Payment is awarded upon successful completion of a course review with the TLTC Instructional Designer. Awards may be made to multiple faculty members involved in a multi-instructor course.
- Departmental Awards: Funding is available for departments that will convert all sections of a high-enrollment course to OER. This may include creation of new resources or modification of existing resources. In addition to stipends, funds may be available to enhance the project. Departments wishing to undertake a project will collaboratively work with the OER Advancement Group to define a scope of work, budget, and project plan. Interested departments should begin the process by reaching out to the OER Advancement Committee.
***General Education courses will be prioritized; however other high enrollment courses, courses that serve multiple programs, or projects that align with other campus initiatives may be considered if funds remain.
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
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.
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:
- Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
- 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)
- Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
- 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)
- 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