Seminar Syllabus

This syllabus is a companion to the five seminar meetings this term.


OER Fellows will become knowledgeable about open educational resources (OER), principles of open pedagogy, and strategies to create usable and accessible OERs on the OpenLab. The Fellowship will cover copyright, Creative Commons licensing, resources to help locate discipline specific OERs, and strategies to generate cohesive and engaging course materials.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the Fellowship, participants will be able to:

  • Define open educational resources
  • Distinguish open educational materials with free materials
  • Understand copyright and Creative Commons licenses
  • Find, evaluate, and select learning materials for the OER course
  • Understand how accessibility, universal design, and instructional design best practices improve course materials
  • Implement strategies to incorporate dynamic pedagogical material including a variety of content formats (video, image, sound)


  • Complete all assignments prior to seminar meetings
  • Participate in group discussions and activities

Homework Assignments

*Due before each seminar meeting*

Seminar 1: OER Fundamentals – 2/28/20

  1. Read: An Introduction to Copyright (Approx. reading time: 7 mins)
    • Context: Before we discuss the meaning of the term “open educational resources,” we need to familiarize ourselves with copyright, a form of protection for creative expressions granted by the law. This is a content heavy reading with a good bit of intellectual property and licensing jargon (hold tight!). But knowing about copyright, for its history and for the fact that it’s current law, is essential for us to understand why and how (educational) materials do or don’t get shared, and more practically, what is ok to post publicly (openly) and what isn’t.
    • Framing question(s): What are some myths this reading busted for you? Are there some areas where confusion remains about the information presented here?
  2. Read: An Introduction to Open Educational Resources and the Fellowship with low stakes quiz to test your knowledge (Approx. completion time: 8-10 mins)
    • Context: This reading builds on the Intro to Copyright reading and talks more about how Creative Commons licensing is how we can call things open educational resources. It will also attempt to clarify / drill down how these concepts and terms will inform your projects in a more practical sense.
    • Framing question(s): Have you encountered Creative Commons licenses before? What is the significance of being permitted to remix (make derivatives / adaptations) by 4 of the 6 types of Creative Commons licenses?
  3. Read: Hybrid Courses: the best of both worlds (or the worst)? by Jesse Rappaport (Approx. reading time: 2 mins)
    • Context: This is a really short piece, part of the Visible Pedagogy series, contributed to by faculty across CUNY. It is meant to get us in a reflective mindset about how we’ve taught before and how we will consider teaching while redesigning our courses to OER.
    • Framing question(s): What in this piece resonates with you about course design, regardless of teaching context (f2f, online, or hybrid)?
  4. Browse the 5 course websites in the Featured OERs and select 2 that interest you. Add the URLs of the 2 OERs you select and jot down some brief observations about those sites on this google doc. We’ll use your selections for an activity in our first session.

Seminar 2: Selecting resources for your OER, Attribution, Licensing – 3/6/20

    1. Read How a “Sultry” Statue of Liberty Cost the U.S. Post Office More Than $3.5 Million by Jason Daley, posted on (Approx. reading time: 2 mins)
    2. Select 3-5 course materials from the resources listed below. Use the Course outline template .docx or make your own copy of the Google doc version to keep your materials organized- BRING this file to our next meeting
      1. Familiarize yourself with some of the resources available for finding OER (Creative Commons licensed learning materials).
        1. Search each of these resources:
      2. Search for relevant library licensed digital materials:
        1. Articles / Databases:

Seminar 3: Accessibility and Building your Site on the OpenLab – Rescheduled to 3/20-3/27

Deadline extended to 4/3

  1. Read the Beyond ADA compliance: the library as a place for all by JJ Poinke, published in the Urban Library Journal (Approx. reading time: 20-30 mins)
  2. Read each section of the Introduction to Accessibility module by Bree Zuckerman (Approx. reading time: 10 mins)
  3. Watch this short video that demos navigating websites with screen reader software: Demonstration of JAWS screen reader (5 mins)
  4. Continue identifying and organizing your course materials! Use good citation and linking practices 🙂

Seminar 4: Universal Design & Pedagogy – 4/10-4/17

  1. Watch: Universal Design for Learning (U.D.L) at a Glance video (Run time: 4:36)
  2. Read “How Experts differ from Novices,” (pp. 31-50) in How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school (Expanded edition). Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.
  3. Continue identifying and organizing your course materials! Use good citation and linking practices 🙂

Seminar 5: Showcase  – 4/24-5/8

Deadline to complete: no later than 5/15 Showcase guidance forthcoming…

Meeting schedule

Seminar Date Time Location
1 2/28/2020 10-12 Library, 432
2 3/6/2020 10-12 Library, 432
3 Week of 3/20-3/27 Time is elastic Remote
4 Week of 4/10-4/17 Time is elastic Remote
5 Week of 4/24-5/8 Time is elastic Remote
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