OER Project Overview


The Ursula C. Schwerin Library at New York City College of Technology plans to implement an Open Education Resources (OER) initiative during the 2014-2015 academic year. Many City Tech faculty are concerned with the increase in textbook prices and have responded by developing and implementing alternative low or no cost pedagogical resources including Prof. Thomas Tradler and Prof. Holly Carley’s precalculus textbook, and Prof. Johannah Rodgers’s Eng 1101 digital reader. The large City Tech faculty response for the call to participate in the university-wide OER workshop this November, 2014 also demonstrates the timeliness of this initiative. Furthermore, by designing tailored curricular resources as OERs, City Tech advances its commitment to excellence in teaching by using course content specifically suited to the college’s own academic programs and student cohort.


Open educational resources (OER) are free and distributable teaching materials. Faculty who participate in the OER initiative will select and curate an individualized course resource by using existing online and library resources. The curated OER will replace a conventional textbook as the sole required material in a Fall 2015 course, thereby reducing student costs by eliminating textbook purchases. The initiative encourages adoption of the OER in additional course sections in subsequent semesters. OER fellows will attend workshops during the Spring 2015 semester, complete the OER in June, implement and promote the OER in Fall 2015, and submit a brief written assessment the following January.

Three awards will be given during the pilot project for the 2014-2015 academic year. Participants will be compensated for 22 hours at the 60% nonteaching rate.


Week of February 10, 2015 Library Workshop #1 – Curation & Copyright
Week of March 10, 2015 Library Workshop #2 – Pedagogy & Assessment
Week of April 14, 2015 Library Workshop #3 – Working Session
Friday, June 19, 2015 OER due
Monday, June 30, 2015 Dispersal of award
Fall 2015 OER used in first course
October 2015 Participants conduct OER workshop
January 2016 Participants submit written assessment
February 2016 Library OER committee submits written assessment


1)    Curation:
a)    June 19, 2015: Deliver curated OER housed on the City Tech OpenLab (https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu)

2)    Participation:
a)    Attend 3 library workshops held in Spring 2015
b)    Consult with library faculty as needed

3)    Teaching and assessment: Fall 2015
a)    OER assigned as sole required course materials
b)    Offer joint faculty presentation (all three participants) in the Faculty Commons addressing the OER curation process and results of classroom adoption
c)    Prepare a brief written report based on library guidelines (due January 2016)



Due: December 19, 2014
Submit to Prof. Cailean Cooney, Access Services Librarian: ccooney@citytech.cuny.edu
REQUIRED: 1) This signed and completed application form (p. 2-3)
2) Attached proposal narrative

Applicant’s Name: _______________________________________________________
Department: ____________________________________________________________
Email Address: __________________________________________________________

OER will be used in the following course:
Course Code and Title: ___________________________________________________
Number of Students: _____________________________________________________
Current Textbook: _______________________________________________________
Cost: _____________

Please address the following points in a narrative proposal of no more than 500 words:
1. What are your goals for the open educational resource that you would author? What are your intended outcomes for your students’ learning?

2. Please describe how you might design your OER. How will you identify resources to replace the textbook in your course? How will students access the assigned content (e.g., via laptop, mobile device or smartphone)?

3. What challenges do you anticipate (e.g. technology barriers including bandwidth)?

4. What library or other support will your project require (e.g., leveraging content such as texts or articles in library databases the university already owns, meeting guidelines for fair use of copyrighted materials)?

Your signature and the signature of your Department Chair indicate a commitment to offer this open resources course in the Fall 2015 semester.
Signature of Applicant: _______________________________________________________
Signature of Department Chair: ________________________________________________

Adapted from UMass Amherst Open Educational Initiative Application