Open Educational Resources in the News

If you’ve heard the term “Open Educational Resources” (OER), you may have been following the recent influx of state funding towards their development across CUNY and SUNY. Let’s take a look at some of the latest trends in conversations about OER.
Federal Support for Open Educational Resources – Earlier this year, OER advocates were cheered by the news that $5 million in federal funding was designated for a pilot program. The program will be developed though the Department of Education, and some experts see this as a sign towards greater interest in OER – “Obviously there are lots of other ways to save students money…by investing in OER, Congress is saying this is the one you should set your sights on” (Nicole Allen, SPARC).

Second Year of Funding from New York State – Following an initial round of funding in 2017, another $8 million was awarded in 2018 to be split between CUNY and SUNY towards OER efforts. This translates into potentially hundreds of thousands – even millions!  – of dollars saved for students, providing immediate financial relief.
OER Adoption – Widespread integration of OER is increasing, but varies among institutions. An article from InsideHigherEd speculates that more faculty are using open resources, and that overall awareness is indeed growing.

Faculty Experiences – One faculty member shares their story, “How an OER Rookie Dove Deep Into a Zero-Cost Textbook Degree Program,” about developing a new OER textbook with the support of her institution, College of the Canyons.
Similarly, Robin DeRosa of Plymouth State University,  had “never heard of open educational resources” until 4 years ago, but is now widely recognized for her work in the field of open pedagogy.

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