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RCC to Host SUNY Workshop on Open Educational Resources

RCC to Host SUNY Workshop on Open Educational Resources

RCC faculty members Katie Lynch and Stephen Burke will take part in the SUNY workshop on September 15.

DATE: September 8, 2017

part of initiative to help defray the cost of college textbooks

RAMAPO – The growing movement towards free and open educational materials for college students will be the focus of an upcoming event at Rockland Community College. RCC will host educators from several State University of New York campuses for a workshop on Open Educational Resources (OER), which are teaching, learning or research resources that students can freely access and use.

The full-day event will take place at RCC’s Technology Center on Friday, September 15. RCC faculty members Kate Erwin, Talia Lipton, Dr. Katie Lynch and Matt Matcovich will be part of a panel discussion, which will be moderated by Stephen Burke, RCC’s Chair of English, Philosophy and Religious Studies. The same faculty members will also assist at afternoon breakout sessions.

The event’s keynote speaker will be Michael Daly, a librarian and professor from Fulton-Montgomery Community College in western New York. Daly leads his college’s OER efforts and is serving as a mentor to help drive adoption on other SUNY campuses.

This workshop is one of four being held statewide at SUNY campuses this month. SUNY is aiming to significantly increase the use of OER this year, using $4 million in funds provided by the state for that purpose under the legislation that created New York’s new Excelsior Scholarship.

RCC first started using Open Educational Resources two years ago. In the current semester, about 30 classes are being offered with open textbooks, impacting some 600 students. RCC faculty members are also contributing to the OER movement: Lynch and Burke have developed original modules for an English text, while Lipton has assembled resources for her Speech students and has helped other faculty members convert their own course materials for OER.

See more information and links about open textbooks, see Open Textbooks.

At the statewide level, SUNY began working on open textbooks in 2012 and initiated SUNY OER Services last year. With the cost of textbooks an increasing concern, OER is viewed as an important initiative to help keep college affordable.