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2018-2019 Cohort

The 2019 OER and Digital Literacy Faculty Fellows and library support faculty (from left): Robin Hizme, English; Kristin Hart, Chief Librarian; Hillary Miller, English; Line Augustin Saint-Hilaire, Elementary and Early Childhood Education (EECE); Sheila Sanders, Chemistry and Biochemistry; Karen Ball, Linguistics and Communication Disorders (LCD); Peishi Wang,Educational and Community Programs; Ashraf Shady, Elementary and Early Childhood Education (EECE); Nicola Lucchi, European Languages and Literatures; Jorge Antonio Alves, Political Science; Karina Attar, European Languages and Literatures; Leila Walker, Emerging Technologies and Digital Scholarship Librarian. Not pictured: Larissa Swedell, Anthropology.

The Queens College Libraries and Center for Teaching and Learning are pleased to welcome the inaugural cohort of OER and Digital Literacy Faculty Fellows. Over the Spring 2019 semester, these Fellows will learn the theory and practice of Open Educational Resources while designing course materials that integrate digital literacy skills into their teaching. At the end of the semester, the course materials, assignments, and syllabi they collect and develop will be made available to the wider community, ensuring that their efforts benefit teaching and learning in their own classrooms and beyond.

Nearly forty percent of CUNY students come from households with annual incomes of less than $20,000. For many of our students, the cost of textbooks can be a steep barrier to academic success. Students often choose not to register for courses that require expensive textbooks, or fail courses simply because they cannot afford the materials. These patterns can lead to increased enrollment time and reduced rates of degree completion.

One way to reduce textbook costs is to offer zero-textbook-cost classes that use Open Educational Resources (OER). OERs are teaching, learning, and research tools released under licenses permitting free use/modification while ensuring authors retain copyright to their work. Open resources and pedagogy represent the future of educational technology and instructional design. Last year, zero-textbook-cost classes using OERs saved Queens College students over $200,000.

Thanks to a generous grant, we are once again able to offer faculty financial, technical, and pedagogical support to transition from proprietary textbooks to OERs. Queens College recognizes that a major barrier to the use of OER and other tools of open pedagogy is the challenge of teaching, reading, thinking and communicating in the digital environment. Therefore, we are introducing a fellowship program to support digital literacy through open educational resources.

About the Digital Literacy Faculty Fellowship: Faculty participating in this competitive fellowship program are eligible to receive $3,000 in compensation.* Faculty fellows commit to:

o Actively participating in a semester-long seminar on digital scholarship and open pedagogy;
o Working with library faculty and OER experts to develop courses and materials that adhere to accepted review standards;
o Teaching at least one zero-textbook-cost course incorporating digital literacy materials by fall 2019;
o Writing a brief end-of-program narrative;
o Making course materials openly available through a Queens College digital repository.

* Subject to workload restrictions. See the Adjunct Workload Policy for more information.

The library will guide you toward great online content like Openstax https://openstax.org/ (which also includes problem sets for math and science!) and help you build the content wherever you want it accessed. Money for infrastructure and staffing support for the Library/Center for Teaching and Learning are also included in the grant.

About OER:

• Students using OER consistently meet learning outcomes as well as or better than students using traditional materials.
• Many open educational resources can be made available to your students through Blackboard or WordPress. Library faculty can help you with the technical and pedagogical details.
• OER isn’t just about cost! Open educational resources can be reused, remixed, revised, redistributed, and retained. This means that they are easier to customize than traditional textbooks and easier to keep up-to-date.

Questions? Contact Leila Walker, the Queens College Emerging Technologies and Digital Scholarship Librarian, at (718) 997-3675 or leila.walker@qc.cuny.edu.

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