Getting started with open resources

  • “When we surveyed students about the free materials, most said they were just as good if not better than the paid ones”

     Amber Gileweski

  • “If you have the power to make (economic issues) go away for someone, then you should.”

      Tori Matthews, Monroe CC

  • “I could not, in good conscience, ask students to spend $400 for a book when there was an equal quality free alternative.”

      Tori Matthews, Monroe CC

  • “OER invite faculty to play a direct role in making higher education more accessible.”

      Rajiv Jhangiani

  • “I use bits and pieces of various textbooks and I add videos and articles, and I can keep the information current for my students.”

     Lorena Mathien, Buffalo State College

  • “OER the first semester will be like changing a book. Later semesters it will get better - it will become yours over time.”

      Sophia Georgiakaki, Tompkins-Cortland CC

  • “You can make it relevant to students, bring in contemporary information, make it engaging, rather than have this cold, dead object that costs a lot of money. That’s why I love OER.”

     Bruce Schwabach, Herkimer College

Browse by Discipline

Evaluate open educational resources and put them to use in your course. Not sure where to start? The discipline collections below offer resources vetted by SUNY and CUNY faculty.
  • General Resources for All Disciplines
  • Creating New OER
  • OER Catalog

    Both SUNY and CUNY can interact with and select expertly designed open courseware.

  • Open SUNY Textbooks

    Open SUNY Textbooks are peer-reviewed, available to the whole world, and easily adaptable. Browse and adopt!

  • CUNY Academic Works

    Browse OER by CUNY Faculty

  • Library guides to OER

    Featured guides: Binghamton University, Nassau Community College, Brooklyn College, Borough of Manhattan Community College.
    See the full LibGuide listing.

Open textbook
publishers & directories

Looking to replace a high cost textbook? Great! Some organizations, like OpenStax and Open SUNY Textbooks publish original open textbooks. There are many other directories that showcase open textbooks from many publishers, such as the Open Textbook Library, BCCampus, and the OER Commons Open Textbook Hub.

Talia Lipton

Rockland Community College

I came to OER through a series of events beginning with my participation on TOEP (Tools of Engagement Program). After I won 1st place in TOEP I used the CPD points to take the Intermediate OER online course through SUNY online learning.
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Bill Pelz

Herkimer College

My initial exposure to OER was in a conversation with Mark McBride. He included me in an IITG OER project which brought Nate Angel of Lumen Learning and Allison Brown of SUNY OER Services to the Herkimer campus for a regional 2-day OER conference/workshop.
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Jerry Mirotznik

CUNY Brooklyn College

Having had much difficulty finding a text that met my needs in teaching research methods. It was with great surprise and amazement that I located on open-source textbook that presented a better alternative than any of the commercially available books.
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David Usinski

Erie Community College

Ten years ago when I first began teaching at ECC, the students voiced their concerns about the financial strain of paying for textbooks and online homework codes.  For several years, I was actively looking for solutions.
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Reorder chapters, delete sections you don’t need, cherry pick the best parts of multiple texts, or replace images with ones your students create-just a few of the options possible!

Enliven your classroom by making OER your own

We know it’s not always easy, but we can help with your adaptation each step of the way! We provide an optimal editing platform to customize most open materials. Your content can be integrated into any learning management system and published in a variety of formats.

Faculty Stories

Jill Loop

Tompkins-Cortland Community College

I began exploring OER as an option in all of my courses shortly after coming to TC3 as an adjunct faculty member. Our team was “recruiting” in a sense, and I loved the idea of providing content to my students that was affordable, accessible and editable by me.
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Alexandra Juhasz

CUNY Brooklyn College

VHS Activism is based on collections of VHS tapes linked to themes like AIDS and Activism. Over the course of her career, Prof. Alexandra Juhasz collected hundreds of VHS tapes by film artists out of the mainstream of cinema.
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Michael Goyette

CUNY Brooklyn College

Developing an OER site has allowed me to customize the content of my course and teach it in a way that is directed toward the particular needs of my students.
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Amber Gilewski

Tompkins-Cortland Community College

I came to use OER when I was asked in 2011 by my provost if I would participate in a grant-funded OER project called Kaleidoscope. I was interested in saving students money, increasing access to course materials, and trying to improve student success and increase retention.
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Even though OER options grow more available each day, not every field has great coverage yet. Consider contributing to underrepresented disciplines by sharing your unique activities, problem sets, teaching resources, chapters, or whole texts with an open license.

Thinking of building from scratch?

Take a look at this road map to guide you as you plan for your project!

Faculty Stories

Thomas C. Priester

Genesee Community College

Thomas Priester published Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom (FAS: WoW) with Open SUNY Textbooks in 2015. His text introduces students to the various aspects of academic life on campus and prepares them to thrive as successful college students.
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Kimberly B. McLain,
Erin O’Hara-Leslie, Andrea C. Wade

Broome County Community College

A team at Broome County Community college created a MOOC on Coursera called Foundations for Assisting in Home Care.
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Malka Simon

CUNY Brooklyn College

My OER gives my students access to an incredible variety of resources: print, visual, and multimedia. It allows us the flexibility to reference text and images on the go, and is an integral part of our weekly site visits.
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Jane Palmquist

CUNY Brooklyn College

OERs enrich teaching and learning immeasurably, drawing from open, authentic, scholarly materials and primary sources worldwide with interactive capabilities beyond those of commercial materials.
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