On April 11, 2018, Anne Hays gave a workshop on how faculty can lower cost barriers for their students using Open Educational Resources (OER). She began by describing the problem: not only has the cost of education continued to increase while state and federal funding have decreased, but textbook costs have risen at 3–4 times the rate of inflation. At CUNY, students are advised to budget $1,364–$1,516 for textbooks for two semesters. Economics professor John Lynham from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa explains why textbook costs have risen so dramatically.
In 2017, CUNY received a $4 million grant from the New York State Governor’s Office to support OER initiatives across the CUNY schools. Typically released under a Creative Commons license (the most common being CC-BY), OER are freely available educational resources that confer the user with the right to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute the material. In a roundup of existing research on OER, the Open Education Group found that in general, students and teachers judged “OER to be as good or better than traditional textbooks” and that “students [did] not perform worse when utilizing OER,” concluding that “students, parents and taxpayers stand to save literally billions of dollars without any negative impact on learning through the adoption of OER.”
Hays went on to show that by converting selected sections within the Economics, Biology, English, and Library departments, faculty were able to reduce textbook costs for CSI students by $296,060 in spring 2018 alone. Hays then discussed how to find OER materials, ways to evaluate their quality, and how faculty can participate.
Join us on April 17 from 2:30–4:00 PM in the Learning Library Lab (room 214), where Cailean Cooney from CityTech will be giving another faculty workshop on how OER helps both students and faculty. Faculty will be given the opportunity to review an OER textbook of their choosing for $200; faculty who then choose to adopt the textbook for the fall will receive an additional $300. Interested faculty can also apply to join the OER Initiative at CSI for more significant funding.
View our website: The CSI Library’s Guide to OER
When: Tuesday, April 17, 2:30–4:00 PM
Where: Building 1L, Library Learning Lab, room 214
More details here.
(This event is co-sponsored by the CSI Library and the Faculty Center for Professional Development.)
–Betsy Yoon, OER Project Assistant & Adjunct Librarian
[Note: we can use this image because the creator released it as “public domain” with the following statement: “I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.” Pretty cool, right?!]