In spring 2017, CUNY was allocated $4,000,000 from New York State to establish, sustain, and enhance new and ongoing open educational resources (OER) initiatives throughout CUNY. This funding must be spent in FY 2018. The expected result will be large-scale course conversions throughout the university.
This initiative seeks to engage faculty in the redesign of courses through the replacement of commercial textbooks with OER and other no-cost, freely available options (e.g., library materials, websites, streaming video sites). The short term goal is to eliminate course material costs for students, when possible, and accelerate their progress through college, but an important secondary impact is to change the culture to create systems and structures that better connect curriculum and pedagogy.
CUNY Office of Academic Affairs through the Office of Library Services will be coordinating the distribution of funds and issuing RFPs for specific initiatives. Of particular interest in the first RFP, CUNY Scale-up OER Initiative, are proposals that target high enrollment general education classes or “Z” degrees (entire OER Zero Cost Degree pathways).
To be eligible for the CUNY Scale-Up Initiative, CUNY colleges must commit to converting at least five courses to OER with five sections per course, and may convert up to 25 courses with five sections per course. This funding’s purpose is to develop, enhance and institutionalize new and ongoing OER initiatives across CUNY. Our goal is the establishment of CUNY as a national leader in OER.
From BMCC Library OER site.
This is an exciting opportunity for CUNY and BMCC is leading the way! BMCC’s Open/Alternative Textbook Program is a faculty development seminar focused on eliminating course material costs for students while facilitating transformative pedagogical approaches. BMCC is also participating in Achieving the Dream’s Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree initiative.
Since spring 2015 through these two programs, over 75 faculty, from 15 of our 17 departments, have converted their course materials from commercial textbooks to OER and other no-cost materials available online and through the Library. Faculty currently teach approximately 175 sections of zero textbook cost courses for estimated annual savings to over 4,000 students of close to $450,000.
As of this coming fall, we estimate faculty have saved students over $1,000,000 since the beginning of the project.
CODA: We submitted our request for this project, kinda overshooting the dollar limit. :/