Open Educational Resources

OER at City Tech

OpenLab Updates: Fall 2022

There are a number of new features and improvements that have been included in the monthly OpenLab updates over the Fall 2022 semester that may be of interest for OER. 

Rich text and media embedding for comments

The OpenLab now has enhanced commenting functionality, allowing you and your site members and visitors to write comments with rich text (bold, italics, links, etc), and easily embed media by simply pasting the URL, as you would in a post.

When you add a comment, you’ll see buttons to add rich text styles to your comment – bold, italics, underline, and numbered and bulleted lists. There’s also a button for adding a link, and one for embedding media. 

These plugins are already activated on all OpenLab sites, so if you’re a site admin, you don’t need to do anything on your site. There is help for Commenting on a Site, which includes the new rich text and media embedding functionality.

OpenLab Attributions plugin

There are a number of improvements to the OpenLab Attributions plugin. Now when you add an attribution, the window is movable so you can see the text beneath the window to include in your attribution statement. The flow of fields in the window has also been reorganized.

The plugin is also now responsive so it works better on mobile.

Embedding for Miro boards

In addition to other types of media embedding, Miro boards can be easily embedded. Simply paste the URL for the board you want to embed on its own line, as you would for a YouTube video.

Library Subject Guides widget: Gender & Sexuality Studies

There is now a link to the new Subject Guide for Gender & Sexuality Studies in the Library Subject Guides widget. 

New Themes

Two new themes were added recently: GeneratePress and Twenty Twenty One. Either could work well for an OER site.


You can always contact the OpenLab team with any questions about these features or other OpenLab-related questions.

Open Educational Resources Faculty Reading List

This is a special themed spinoff to our monthly New and Noteworthy posts.

This month we are sharing a curated list of OER related resources, commentary, and scholarship that may be of interest and even essential to faculty working with OER. Selections include some grounding texts, discussions of pedagogy and OER, access and equity, OER and policy, critiques of OER, and resources to connect faculty with research related to OER. All are openly licensed.

  • The OER Starter Kit Workbook, by Abby Elder and Stacy Katz, Manifold Press. (2020). License: CC BY
    Authors created this workbook to complement the OER Starter Kit. This is an organized and easy to follow text; useful for beginners and a good reference tool. It also includes a compilation of useful worksheets one can adopt.
  • A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students, edited by Elizabeth Mays, Rebus Community, 2017. License: CC BY
    “A handbook for faculty interested in practicing open pedagogy by involving students in the making of open textbooks, ancillary materials, or other Open Educational Resources.”
  • Accessibility Toolkit (2nd edition), by Amanda Coolidge, Sue Doner, Tara Robertson, and Josie Gray, BCCampus. (2018). License: CC BY
    A step-by-step toolkit for faculty, instructional designers, educational technologists, librarians, administrators, to create open textbooks that are accessible for all users.
  • Open Education and policy via the SPARC website (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). Site license: CC BY
    “SPARC is a non-profit advocacy organization that supports systems for research and education that are open by default and equitable by design.” Part of this organization’s agenda touches on open education and political advocacy on a national and global level. Their website is a useful resource to explore some of the projects they advance: including Automatic Textbook Billing Contract Library, SPARC’s resource to help institutions examine the fine print behind “inclusive access” programs and the OER State Policy Resources, an OER State Policy Tracker.
  • Open education: walking a critical path by Catherin Cronin. (2020). License: CC BY. Chapter in Open(ing) Education: Theory and Practice, published by Brill.
    “This chapter explores justifications for and movements toward critical approaches to open education.”
  • Open Research with the OER Hub Researcher Pack by Bea de los Arcos, Rob Farrow, Beck Pitt and Martin Weller, from the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University (OU) in the United Kingdom. (2016). License: CC BY-SA
    Resources for conducting research into the impact of open educational resources (OER) or open education.

New and Noteworthy OER 11/18

New and Noteworthy is the City Tech Library O.E.R. Team’s monthly roundup of new and noteworthy O.E.R. We try to include at least one O.E.R. relevant to each school at City Tech in every post. At the end of the month, these resources will be compiled and distributed by the library liaison for your department. Please contact us if you know of new or particularly interesting O.E.R. to share with our colleagues or would like more information about O.E.R. initiatives at City Tech.

Open Education

  1. Intersections of Open Educational Resources and Information Literacy, by Mary Ann Cullen and Elizabeth Dill, Association of College and Research Libraries (2022). License: CC BY-NC-SA
    “Intersections of Open Educational Resources and Information Literacy captures current open education and information literacy theory and practice and provides inspiration for the future. Chapters include practical applications, theoretical musings, literature reviews, and case studies and discuss social justice issues, collaboration, open pedagogy, training, and advocacy.”

  2. Using Open Educational Resources to Promote Social Justice, by Kevin Adams, Murray Anderson, Elissah Becknell, CJ Ivory, Carrollton, and Angela Pashia, Association of College and Research Libraries (2022). License: CC BY-NC
    “Our entrance to academic work on social justice was through a focus on CRT. We outline this background here but wish to emphasize that it explicitly addresses only one aspect of social justice. For us, the structural understanding of racism in the United States creates a foundation upon which to understand other structures of oppression as well as intersectionality.”

Arts & Sciences

  1. Critical Perspectives on Technology and the Family by Susan K. Walker. (2022). License: CC BY-NC
    “As information and communications technology (ICT) evolve families and the professionals who work with them are best armed with tools that enable their intentional use. From the perspective of a long time family practitioner, researcher, and educator, and technology innovator, this textbook offers the first comprehensive view of technology in the family for college students, professionals and the public. Each chapter offers content and a complete reference list, learning activities, ideas for critical blog posting and additional readings. Overall, the textbook covers foundational information about our societal use of information and communications technology, family theories and ways of understanding families, and how families differ in their use and access to ICT.”

  2. Disabled And Here Collection, by Affect The Verb (2022). License: CC BY
    “This is a disability-led effort to provide free & inclusive stock images from our own perspective, with photos and illustrations celebrating disabled Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC).”
  1. History of Applied Science & Technology by Danielle Skjelver et al. (2022). License: CC BY
    “This textbook is designed to meet the needs of History of Applied Science and Technology courses at colleges and universities around the world. Chapters will be organized around the theme of the transformative impact of technological and epistemological changes on worldview and human behavior as they relate to everyday life and global choices. We believe this textbook is the first History of Applied Science and Technology textbook to take a global approach, addressing persistent gaps in coverage in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.”

  2. Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector by Dyana P. Mason. (2022). License: CC BY-NC
    “Nonprofit organizations are on the front lines in communities, providing an important foundation for the social safety net in the United States and around the world.  They also provide places where people can gather, share ideas and build community.  They often accomplish amazing feats with few resources.   This book was designed to be used in an undergraduate-level introductory course in the nonprofit sector.”
  1. Nanihtsulyaz ‘int’en (Do things gently) ʔes zuminstwáx kt (We take care of one another): The Role of Indigenous Elders in Student Mental Health and Wellness in the B.C. Post-Secondary Education Environment by Taylor Devine et al. (2022). License: CC BY-NC-ND
    “This illustrated booklet shows the holistic ways that Indigenous Elders support student mental health and wellness in the B.C. post-secondary system. It includes quotes from Elders and reflection questions to help readers think about the many ways that Elders’ presence, knowledge, and wisdom enrich the learning environment.”

  2. A People’s History of Structural Racism in Academia: From A(dministration of Justice) to Z(oology) – Open Textbook Library by Susan Rahman et al. (2022). License: CC BY
    “Institutions of higher education can serve as a place for these types of dialogues to take place with actionable outcomes. First we must acknowledge and address our own hidden biases within the walls of the academy. Transgressing status quo conventions in academia is a foundational requisite of an effective, and equitable pedagogy. By uncovering the ways in which structural racism is deeply embedded in higher education and learning ways to create a more equitable institution, the potential for healing, innovation and change is possible.”

Professional Studies

  1. Instructional Methods, Strategies and Technologies to Meet the Needs of All Learners, by Paula Lombardi (2022). License: CC BY-NC-SA
    Open text designed to supplement studies towards a Special Education Teacher Certification. 
  1. Toward a Critical Instructional Design, by Jerod Quinn, Martha Burtis, Surita Jhangiani, and Robin DeRosa (2022). License: CC BY-NC
    “These chapters challenge current common practices and assumptions in online education, while also challenging our assumptions about who our learners are and what power they should have in learning spaces.”
  1. Introduction to Social Work: A Look Across the Profession, by James Langford, LCSW and Craig Keaton, PhD, LMSW (2022). License: CC BY-NC
    “This book takes students on a journey through many but not all of the different possibilities in social work. Social work is a profession focused on helping people live their best lives by working with people individually, at the family level, in groups and communities. […] Students will learn the profession’s exciting history and ways we help today.”

Technology & Design

  1. Engineering Mechanics: Statics, by Elisabeth (Libby) Osgood, Gayla Cameron, and Emma Christensen, Charlottetown, Robertson Library Pressbooks (2022). License: CC BY-NC-SA
    “Introduction to engineering mechanics: statics, for those who love to learn. Concepts include: particles and rigid body equilibrium equations, distributed loads, shear and moment diagrams, trusses, method of joints and sections, & inertia.”
  1. A History of Enterprise Search 1938-2022, by Martin White, The University of Sheffield (2022). License: CC BY-NC
    “A chronological history of the development of enterprise search applications on a decade – by – decade basis from 1938 – 2022 starting with the use of punched cards to search through enterprise collections of scientific information and ending with the transition to the integration of artificial intelligence models into search applications.”

  2. A Person-Centered Guide to Demystifying Technology, 2nd Edition, by Martin Wolske, Windsor & Downs Press (2022). License: CC BY-SA
    “The general learning outcome objectives of this book are to help readers: • Develop a clear hands-on working understanding of the physical and software layers of computers and networks; • Evolve a more holistic and nuanced understanding of the sociotechnical artifacts we use as a daily part of our professional lives; • Develop a critical approach to sociotechnical artifacts to counter systemic injustices related to race, class/caste, gender, and other cultural dynamics; and • Advance community agency in appropriating technology to achieve our individual and community development goals through a reconsidered digital literacy learning and practice.”

  3. Strength of Materials Supplement for Power Engineering, by Alex Podut, British Columbia Institute of Technology (2022). License: CC BY
    “Applied Strength of Materials is a technical course in Power and Process Engineering program, second year. The course prepares the graduates for solving practical engineering problems; it also covers the topics needed for 2nd and 1st class Power Engineering certification exams. This work is designed to complement the Applied Strength of Materials open textbook written by Dr. Barry Dupen.”

Cailean Cooney, Assistant Professor, OER Librarian: ccooney@citytech.cuny.edu
Joshua Peach, Adjunct Reference & OER Librarian: jpeach@citytech.cuny.edu
Jo Thompson, Adjunct Reference & OER Librarian: jthompson@citytech.cuny.edu

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