Open Educational Resources OER
Purchase College has signed on to participate in SUNY’s current initiative to promote the use of Open Educational Resources (OERs).
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation. (UNESCO)
Support for OER at Purchase
The Library and TLTC are available to help faculty adopt OER and other affordable learning materials into their courses. (See the Purchase College OER Guidelines for definitions and details.) Contact your Library liaison for assistance locating and vetting OER materials, and check out the OER guide maintained by the Library. The TLTC will help faculty incorporate OER materials into their Moodle courses, especially the open textbooks available through SUNY OER Services (see below). If you have any questions about using OER in your courses, contact OER@purchase.edu.
SUNY OER Services
SUNY maintains a library of open textbooks / courseware covering a broad range of subjects, through ongoing collaborations with Lumen Learning and Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative. These open texts can replace or supplement commercial textbooks, meet SUNY-wide accessibility standards, and can be embedded in your Moodle courses through the External Tools activity. You can use these texts in their entirety, or mix and match across subjects. You can adapt and revise the materials as needed for your courses, and most of the texts include active learning components or homework managers. If you are interested in adopting any of the texts, contact OER@suny.edu, and copy TLTC@purchase.edu.
SUNY also maintains a set of self-paced OER Community Courses, covering topics such as understanding what OER is, how to locate & vet existing materials, and strategies for adapting and creating new course OER. The Library and TLTC currently have stipends available for faculty who work through the initial OER Community Courses and apply the materials to adopting OER materials in their courses.
Other sources for OER materials
Faculty looking for open textbooks for use with their courses may want to check out these sites, in addition to what’s available from SUNY OER Services:
- Milne Open Textbooks (SUNY-developed titles)
- OpenStax titles are also available as free Kindle downloads
BC Open Textbooks (U British Columbia)
- Also check out their open publishing project
- Open Textbook Library (U Minnesota)
In addition to full textbooks, there is a multitude of openly licensed materials ranging from individual diagrams to animations & simulations to course modules, and everything in between. Here are a couple of locations to get started.
- The OASIS search tool from SUNY Geneseo (Openly Available Sources Integrated Search)
- MERLOT - “access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools”, many of which are openly licensed, but all available for you to incorporate into your courses.
- You can also use the advanced search features on Google Images and YouTube to find openly licensed materials.