Open Educational Resources

OER at City Tech

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Accessibility 101: Open Edition

For accessibility to become embedded in our everyday thinking and world, we all need to realize the role we all can play in accessibility.  We need to incorporate accessibility into workflows and considerations.  Try to step back and think “is X accessible? Is there a way I can make Y accessible?” Ensuring accessibility does not need to be part of a person’s job description or a person’s personal experience and life to become something all people can participate in.“ (Amy Wolfe, OER Accessibility Toolkit

Accessibility is a core part of OER programming at City Tech. Developing course materials with accessibility in mind can help with course delivery across modalities and remove barriers to engaging with course subjects. Rather than making course materials accessible after accommodation requests have been made, we can make our courses accessible to everyone from the start by building accessibility into our instructional design process. If you aren’t sure where to start with making your courses accessible, below you’ll find openly licensed materials about digital accessibility, including document, image, and video accessibility. 

  • Accessibility Toolkit for OER by CUNY Office of Library Services’ Accessibility Librarian, Amy Wolfe (Updated 2023). License: CC BY-NC-SA
    “This guide was created to assist CUNY Librarians, faculty, staff & OER developers create accessible content and accessible Open Educational Resources (OER). On this guide you will find information on:
    • Creating Accessible Content: Tips on how to create accessible content including, word docs, pdfs, Images, videos, social media posts and other multimedia
    • Platforms: What OER platforms are accessible? What are the pros and cons of using each platform?
    • Evaluating your OER site: Determine if your site is accessible and see how to fix issues on your site
    • VPATs: Voluntary Product Accessibility Template: Collection of VPATs from various vendors to see relevant information on how a vendor’s product or service claims to conform to the Section 508 Standards.”

  • Digital Accessibility as a Business Practice by Greg Gay, Frank Miller, and Christopher West, The Chang School of Continuing Education at Toronto Metropolitan University (2019). License: CC BY-SA
    “This resource provides business leaders with the tools and knowledge needed to effectively enable digital accessibility in an organization through cultural change, raising awareness of its importance, and equipping employees with the specific tools and knowledge they need to address digital accessibility as part of their everyday work.”

  • Flexible Learning for Open Education (FLOE) Project by The Inclusive Design Research Centre and OCAD University. License: CC BY
    “Learning happens best when the experience is personalized to individual needs. Open Educational Resources (OER) that are open to use and adapt, provide an opportunity to meet the diverse needs of learners, including those with disabilities. The FLOE Project supports the OER community in providing a sustainable, integrated approach to accessible learning, addressing the needs of learners who currently face barriers.” The FLOE project materials include a variety of open guides and toolkits as well as other open education efforts such the Coding Educator’s Toolkit, Ecocultural Mapping Project, and more.  

  • Improving the Digital Accessibility of OER by Amy Hofer (2020). License: CC BY
    This post provides an overview of accessibility and evaluating inaccessible OER as well as a detailed account of the author’s accessibility workflow. 

  • OER Accessibilty Tookit by BCcampus, Camosun College, and CAPER-BC (2018). License: CC BY
    “The goal of the OER Accessibility Toolkit is to provide the needed resources to each content creator, instructor, instructional designer, educational technologist, librarian, administrator, and teaching assistant to create a truly open and accessible educational resource — one that is accessible for all students.” The OER Accessibility Toolkit is available on one site page here.

  • Professional Web Accessibility Auditing Made Easy by The Chang School of Continuing Education at Toronto Metropolitan University (2019). License: CC BY-SA
    “Digital accessibility skills are in high demand, as the world becomes more aware of barriers in digital content that prevent some people from participating in a digital society. These are essential skills for web developers, and essential knowledge for organizations that want to ensure their web content is reaching the broadest audience possible.”

  • Understanding Document Accessibility by The Chang School of Continuing Education at Toronto Metropolitan University (2020). License: CC BY-SA
    “With much of the world gone digital, learning to create documents that are accessible to everyone is becoming a necessary skill. Intended for a general audience, this free resource reviews a wide range of document authoring applications, including the tools they contain for creating accessible documents, and tests them to ensure they do not contain potential barriers. Learn how to create accessible word processed documents, spreadsheets, presentation slides, and PDF documents, among others, so they are accessible to everyone.”

For more information about OER and OER programming at City Tech, email OER Librarian Cailean Cooney at

OpenLab Updates: January 2024

There are a number of new features and improvements that have been included in the OpenLab update in January 2024 that may be of interest for OER. 

New features

There are now additional post privacy options that appear on public sites, allowing you to choose from three different privacy options, for more fine-grained visibility choices when working in the open: 

  • Everyone: This is the default setting, which matches the setting of the open site. 
  • Site members: Only logged-in members of the site can see the post. 
  • OpenLab members: Only logged-in members of the OpenLab can see the post.

You don’t need to activate anything. These options will appear automatically when a site is set to either “Allow search engines to index” or “Ask search engines not to index this site.”

Additional privacy options, as described above.


The OpenLab added four new plugins, and retired one plugin, CM Tooltip Glossary, in favor of a more accessible glossary plugin. The new plugins are:

The plugin GTranslate was recently added to the OpenLab, allowing you to add an automatic translation option to your site. TranslatePress allows you to translate it manually, for a more accurate translation.

Reading Time WP 
This plugin adds an estimated reading time to posts and pages. 

WP Reading Progress 
Used alone or together with Reading Time WP, this plugin adds a progress bar at the top of posts and pages, indicating to the reader how far along they are in the text.

Name Directory 
This plugin allows you to create a glossary, or multiple glossaries for your site. You can also allow others to submit glossary entries. 

We also made a few fixes to the OpenLab Attributions plugin to improve keyboard navigation, and to fix an issue preventing existing attributions from being edited.

New and Noteworthy OER 12/08

New and Noteworthy is the City Tech Library OER Team’s monthly roundup of new and noteworthy open educational resources. We try to include at least one OER 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 OER to share with our colleagues or would like more information about open educational resources initiatives at City Tech.

African American Studies


  • Introduction to Marketing Instructor Course Pack, by Scott van Dyk, Coast Mountain College (2022). License: CC BY
    “Introduction to Marketing is a first-year course covering the fundamental topics of marketing including (but not limited to) marketing principles, market research, consumer behaviour, customer satisfaction, branding, advertising, supply chain management, marketing plans and international marketing. The course has been developed to be delivered in an online, facilitated format that is asynchronous. The course material references the open textbook Principles of Marketing and is intended to provide educators with guidance on how to both manage your time and present the content. The course includes assignment ideas and rubrics that can be used throughout the course. The activities in this course require the instructor to spend time with small groups of students regularly providing feedback for their assignments and reviewing work. The course is application based and requires students to develop and use problem solving skills.”


  • Organic Chemistry – A Tenth Edition, by John E. McMurry, OpenStax (2023). License: CC BY-NC-SA
    “In Organic Chemistry: A Tenth Edition from OpenStax, McMurry continues this tradition while updating scientific discoveries, highlighting new applications, scrutinizing every piece of art, and providing example problems to assist students. Organic Chemistry: A Tenth Edition continues to meet the scope and sequence of a two-semester organic chemistry course that follows a functional group approach. A highlighted list of changes along with a detailed table of contents and ancillary descriptions can be found on the Instructor and Student resources sections of this page.”



  • World History, Volume 2, by Ann Kordas, Ryan J. Lynch, Brooke Nelson, and Julie Tatlock, OpenStax (2023). License: CC BY
    “World History, Volume 2: from 1400 is designed to meet the scope and sequence of a world history course from 1400 offered at both two-year and four-year institutions. Suitable for both majors and non majors World History, Volume 2: from 1400 introduces students to a global perspective of history couched in an engaging narrative. Concepts and assessments help students think critically about the issues they encounter so they can broaden their perspective of global history. A special effort has been made to introduce and juxtapose people’s experiences of history for a rich and nuanced discussion. Primary source material represents the cultures being discussed from a firsthand perspective whenever possible. World History, Volume 2: from 1400 also includes the work of diverse and underrepresented scholars to ensure a full range of perspectives.”

Hospitality Management

  • Human Resources in the Food Service and Hospitality Industry, The BC Cook Articulation Committee, BCcampus (2015). License: CC BY
    “Human Resources in the Food Services and Hospitality Industry is one of a series of Culinary Arts open textbooks developed to support the training of students and apprentices in British Columbia’s food service and hospitality industry. Although created with the Professional Cook, Baker, and Meatcutter programs in mind, these have been designed as a modular series, and therefore can be used to support a wide variety of programs that offer training in food service skills.”
  • Meat Cutting and Processing for Food Service, The BC Cook Articulation Committee, BCcampus (2015). License: CC BY
    “This book is intended to give students a basic understanding of the various types of meat and poultry used in the food service industry, and how the terminology used by retail, wholesale, and food service customers varies. Meat cutting for restaurants and hotels differs slightly from meat cutting for retail. Restaurants and hotels sometimes use names of cuts on menus that are common in the kitchen vernacular or in other jurisdictions like Europe or the United States, while retail meat cutters are bound by Canadian regulations regarding labeling and marketing of meat products to consumers for retail.”


  • Nursing Advanced Skills, by Open RN Project, Chippewa Valley Technical College (2023). License: CC BY
    “This textbook is an open educational resource with CC-BY licensing developed specifically for prelicensure nursing students. The e-book and downloadable versions are free. Affordable print versions are published in collaboration with XanEdu and available on Amazon and in college bookstores. Content is based on the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) statewide nursing curriculum for the Nursing Advanced Skills course (543-112) and the NCLEX-RN Test Plan. 1 Content includes advanced skills for registered nurses, such as intravenous infusion, blood product administration, management of central lines and chest tube systems, basic electrocardiogram interpretation, and nasogastric/feeding tube insertion, and builds on basic nursing skills discussed in the Open RN Nursing Skills OER textbook.”

Radiologic Technology & Medical Imaging

  • Localization & Treatment Procedures in Radiation Therapy, by Jared Stiles, University of Iowa (2023). License: CC BY-NC-SA
    “Book Description: Localization and Treatment Procedures in Radiation Therapy provides an overview of patient simulation, treatment planning, and treatment delivery. The goal of the book is to educate learners on conventional and modern simulation procedures, treatment planning fundamentals and considerations, and treatment delivery techniques and technologies in an ever-evolving field. The content is designed for radiation therapy students, professionals, and all communities of interest.”

Open Education

  • The Open Pedagogy Student Toolkit, by Jamie Witman, The Open Education Network (2023). License: CC BY
    “This toolkit is intended as a guide for students who are engaging in open pedagogy. The toolkit defines open pedagogy, the benefits of open pedagogy, and the rights and responsibilities that come with being a student creator. Instructors may wish to use this toolkit as a resource to scaffold conversations about open pedagogy with their students and to appropriately prepare them for working in the open.”

OER Team:

Cailean Cooney, Associate Professor, OER Librarian:
Joshua Peach, Adjunct Reference & OER Librarian:
Jo Thompson, Adjunct Reference & OER Librarian:

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