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Open/Alternative Textbook Program


With support from BMCC’s Office for Academic Affairs, the BMCC Library and CETLS coordinate the Open/Alternative Textbook Program to support faculty who are interested in replacing commercial textbooks with with freely-available, no-cost open educational resources (OER) or with OER they create. Since spring 2015, over 50 faculty across several departments have completed the OER workshop series and implemented textbook free courses. For AY 2016-17, there will be three cohorts selected to participate in fall 2016 and winter and spring 2017.

To the right is a description of the Open/Alternative Textbook Program. To apply, fill out the program application.

Through December 2018, the Open/Alternative Textbook Program will run concurrently with a program to create an OER degree (also called Zero Textbook Cost or Z-Degree). Funded by Achieving the Dream, the OER Degree Program will support creating a Criminal Justice degree path in which students have the option to select OER sections of courses required for degree completion and graduate with zero textbook costs. If you teach a Pathways course and are interested in participating in the OER grant, please contact Jean Amaral, Assistant Professor/Outreach Librarian.

The Open/Alternative Textbook Program

For the 2016-17 AY, 30 faculty will be selected through an application process to replace their current commercial textbook with OER. We are offering three opportunities to join the program; faculty can apply to participate in fall, winter (January), or spring training. Teams of faculty collaborating on curating and creating OER for Pathways and Gateway courses are encouraged to apply.

To participate in the pilot program, you must:

  • be a part-time or full-time instructional faculty member at BMCC (priority will be given to lecturers, assistant and associate professors)
  • be able to identify a course you anticipate teaching in fall 2017, for which one or more texts will be replaced by open educational resources
  • be able to attend training sessions on specified dates (to be determined with input from participants)
  • agree to create and use materials that comply with copyright and accessibility laws
  • agree to evaluate the use of OER in your course

Faculty will receive a $1,000 stipend for their participation in recognition of the time required to select, curate, and create OER. 

Participants commit to attending 9 hours of training, replacing the textbook(s) with OER in one course to be taught in fall 2017, and assessing the use of OER in the course.

Selection Process and Criteria
Co-facilitators, Jean Amaral, Assistant Professor and Outreach Librarian, and Gina Cherry, CETLS Director, along with Jim Berg, Associate Dean of Faculty, will select participants for the workshops.

Projects will be selected based on:

  • quality and strength of application
  • potential savings to BMCC students
  • class size, with preference given to Pathways and high enrollment courses
  • transferability of the project to other courses
  • ability to be implemented in fall 2017