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Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative at Bronx Community College: What is it?

Learn about Open Educational Resources, and how Bronx Community College is creating a Z-Degree.

Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative at Bronx Community College

Bronx Community College is part of a CUNY-wide and and nation-wide Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative funded by Achieving the Dream to help address the high cost of textbooks. Beginning with courses offered in Fall 2016 through Fall 2018, faculty at Bronx Community College will receive support to adapt at least one section for each required course and several electives of the History degree program to replace traditional textbooks with Open Educational Resources (OER).  By the end of Fall 2018, it will be possible for a student to complete an Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, History Option taking only classes that use OER as required texts. Our hope is that the use of OER will expand at BCC beyond the courses designed to fulfill this grant.

Profs. Nicole Williams and Angel Falcon of the Library and are the primary contacts for this initiative at BCC.

This guide provides general information about the OER degree initiative and helps participants locate important information.  If you have any questions or suggestions regarding its content, please contact the guide's editor, Nicole Williams.

What is OER?


Nicole Williams's picture
Nicole Williams
North Hall & Library
Room 259

Understanding OER in 10 Videos

Interested in participating?

If you are a professor who is interested in participating in the Achieving the Dream OER grant or have questions about using OER as core or supplemental materials for your courses, please contact Nicole Williams.

CUNY partners

BCC is participating in the OER degree initiative with Hostos Community College, which is offering an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education and Borough of Manhattan Community College, which is offering an Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice. Ann Fiddler of CUNY's Central Office of Library Services is the coordinator of all three projects.

Help with "Open"

Definition of OER:

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.



The 5Rs of Openness

  1. Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  2. Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

by David Wiley of Lumen Learning in his blog post on 3/5/14.

Licensing and Attribution


  • Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative at Hostos Authored by: Elisabeth Tappeiner; Hostos Community College. Located at: License: CC BY: Attribution.

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Proper attribution is to Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative at Bronx Community College and Nicole Williams.