RFP: Review OER in Your Discipline

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CUNY and SUNY are currently making significant investments to support the deployment of Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are texts and other materials that reside in the public domain or that have been released under an intellectual property license that permits repurposing by others, and their use can both save students significant amounts of money as they pursue their degrees and allow faculty to more easily integrate a range of voices and materials into their courses. OER are one significant pillar in a suite of open teaching practices that encourage faculty to explore the empowering benefits of networked, experiential, and active learning pedagogies in their teaching. Though OER have been available for a generation, they are increasingly being collected and bundled with other services via OER repositories such as OpenStax, Lumen Learning, and The Open Textbook Library.

As awareness and utilization of OER expands across CUNY and public higher education more generally, we run the risk of reproducing many of the social inequities that are structured in various ways into the academy. Whose voices and perspectives are represented in OERs? Do OERs accurately reflect contemporary scholarly debates in any given field? Where are the ideological, methodological, and representational lacunas that exist within any given field’s collection of OER? Attending vigilantly to these questions is central to having teaching and learning resources that accurately represent contemporary scholarly debates and expand future ones.

The Teaching and Learning Center and the Graduate Center Library invite individual or group proposals from CUNY Graduate Center students for literature reviews of OER in specific disciplines. We will pay $1000 per discipline, and can fund up to five distinct projects in the Spring 2018 semester.

Each project will result in a report of 1000-2000 words that evaluates Open Educational Resources in a specific discipline with attention to breadth and depth of coverage, inclusiveness of emergent voices and arguments, and appropriateness for deployment in an undergraduate classroom. Funded projects will be developed with support from staff at the Teaching and Learning Center and Graduate Center Library, and grantees will be expected to attend up to three meetings during the Spring semester to report on their progress. Final reports will be due June 1, 2018, and will be published in Summer 2018 on Visible Pedagogy.

To apply, submit a single PDF by email to tlc@gc.cuny.edu by midnight on February 12, 2018. Please put “OER Reviews” in the subject line, and save your PDF as LastnameFirstnameOER.pdf (for group proposals, please choose a primary applicant).

Applicant Information:
1. Name(s)
2. Program(s) at the GC and Discipline You Propose Reviewing
3. Contact information (email, mailing address, and phone number).
4. Short CV(s)
5. Statement of Interest of no more than two pages, which includes information about past experiences with OER (if any), a (very) brief preliminary review of OER in your field, and a hypothesis about strengths and weaknesses of how accurately OER’s represent current trends in your field.

Proposals will be evaluated based upon demonstrated experience with OER and/or open pedagogical practices, and the strength and clarity of preliminary reviews of OER in your field and hypothesis about what’s covered and what’s missing. Funded projects will be announced within two weeks. Should multiple applications be submitted from the same discipline, we may urge applicants to consider combining their proposals into a collaborative one.

Questions about this program should be directed to Luke Waltzer (lwaltzer@gc.cuny.edu), Director of the Teaching and Learning Center.

About the Author

Elvis Bakaitis is an Adjunct Reference Librarian at the Graduate Center Library.