Open Education & Technology

Open digital pedagogy and open edducation has been defined as “the use of cost-free, publicly available online tools and platforms by instructors and students for teaching, learning, and communicating in support of educational goals” (Rosen and Smale, 2015). Open educational practices can include teaching with low- or zero-cost open educational resources (OER), incorporating digital and open source tools, welcoming and centering student knowledge in the course, encouraging student engagement with public discourses, and fostering digital skills and literacies. When we talk about “open” education, we are interrogating how interactions, resources, and digital tools can “actually transform the way in which we do “school,” [and] the way in which we teach and learn” (Watters, 2015).

A core tenet of open education is the use of open educational resources, also called OER. New York State has invested significantly in the development and deployment of OER at CUNY over the past several years, and there are active and engaged OER programs on each CUNY campus. As part of CUNY’s OER Initiatives, instructors across the university are creating open educational resources that can be reused and remixed from semester to semester. As part of these efforts, the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) and the Graduate Center’s Digital Initiatives (GCDI) have collaborated on the development and pedagogical use of two CUNY-built, university-wide, open-source platforms for teaching: the CUNY Academic Commons and Manifold.

As part of our Open Education initiatives, TLC staff and fellows host workshop series, group trainings, and provide direct consultation to CUNY faculty and staff to support teaching with OER and our teaching open platforms. The TLC and GCDI staff have collaborated on a series of events including a three-part series, Open Platform for Teaching & Learning at CUNY and an Open & Digital Pedagogy Wednesday Workshop series, which focused on a variety of teaching practices including: student engagement in online spaces, assigning digital projects, using social annotation, ungrading assessment practices, teaching with digital art, and engaging students in OER creation.

In Summer 2022, with funding from OLS and the NEH, the TLC and GCDI launched the Open Education and Publication Institute, which mentored  and supported 10 faculty fellows with the development of open educational resources and OER courses on the CUNY Academic Commons and Manifold.