Call for Proposals: Spring 2018 CUNY Academic Commons OER Faculty Teaching Fellowships

CUNY Academic Commons OER Faculty Teaching Fellowships

The CUNY Academic Commons (CAC), in collaboration with the Graduate Center’s Teaching and Learning Center (TLC), seeks applications for up to ten CUNY Academic Commons Open Educational Resources (OER) Faculty Teaching Fellowships for the Spring 2018 semester. Tenure-track, adjunct, and Graduate Teaching Fellow faculty who will be teaching at a CUNY campus in Spring 2018 are all eligible for this fellowship.

CAC OER Fellows will have the opportunity to teach a course using the CUNY Academic Commons during the Spring 2018 semester, with dedicated technical and pedagogical support from the CAC and TLC teams, as well as librarians from the Graduate Center Library. To be considered for this fellowship, all courses must incorporate freely accessible, openly-licensed Open Educational Resources (original, reused, or remixed) via tools on the Commons.

Project staff will be available to meet with Faculty Fellows to discuss site and assignment design, OER selection, remixing, creation, and presentation, and to work through how to best harness the technical capabilities of the CUNY Academic Commons to meet specific teaching and learning goals and the challenges of OER. CAC community team members will meet with faculty fellows to introduce them to the features of the Commons, will maintain a dedicated support forum for the fellows group, and will be available for class visits to discuss the CAC with faculty and students.

CAC OER Faculty Fellows will receive a $2000 honorarium to support the deployment of and reflection upon their teaching with OER on the Commons. Fellows will be asked to document their experiences teaching with OER on the Commons, and will also be asked to write up and publicly share reflections on their experiences. This reflection and feedback will in turn help the CAC team make the Commons a more functional and robust teaching space for faculty using OER in their courses.

About Teaching with the CUNY Academic Commons

OER are freely accessible, open, and reusable educational materials. WordPress, the web framework that powers the Commons, can facilitate the presentation and interaction with the variety of open teaching and learning artifacts.

Below are some of the key features of the CUNY Academic Commons that faculty have made use of in their teaching, and which can support the deployment of OER. Applicants will not be expected to use all the tools listed below, only those that serve the purposes of their course:

  • WordPress: powers individual blogs with granular privacy controls
  • BuddyPress: facilitates groups with forums and reply-by-email, activity streams, announcements, community-editable documents, and file storage
  • SocialPaper: an online writing environment where authors can publicize their work for feedback from a select group of colleagues.
  • PressForward: aggregates content from across the web using bookmarklets
  • FeedWordPress: connects blogs to a “motherblog”; aggregates and feeds syndicated blog posts into single feed for easy reading and responding
  • Anthologize: transforms site content into a variety of e-book formats, including PDF, ePub, and TEI.
  • Hypothesis: a social annotation tool that allows multiple users to comment and reflect on an online text together
  • Storify: aggregates blog content, tweets, and media into a “digital story”
  • Timeline JS: creates digital timelines with embedded, text, images, and videos
  • Additional Commons Features:
    • email notification of new posts and activity
    • calendar features for sharing events, etc.
    • more than 300 plugins
    • more than 80 themes
    • custom shortlinks

In addition, the CAC is willing and able to incorporate additional tools to support OER, after review by our development team.

Below are some examples of OER that could be integrated into course sites on the Commons:

  • SmartHistory: engaging videos and essays that cover all eras of art history, ranging from the paleolithic to the present
  • ScienceForward: videos and extensive resources that introduce students to science as way of exploring the world around them and focuses on the critical thinking skills in use across the scientific disciplines
  • Art History Teaching Resources: online repository of art history teaching content that includes lesson plans, video introductions to museums, book reviews, image clusters, and classroom and museum activities
  • EqualityArchive: multimodal (text/image/video) archive with entries detailing the history of sex and gender issues in the United States
  • The American Yawp: crowd-sourced US History Textbook

For Model teaching sites on the CUNY Academic Commons include Jason Tougaw’s course “Inventing the Self,” Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis’s course “Great Digs,” Carrie Hintz’s course “Oversharing,” Matthew K. Gold’s course “Clouds,” Steve Brier and Lisa Rhody’s “DHPraxis”, Leah Anderst’s course “Documentary Film”, Jennifer Corby’s course “American Government and Politics”, Prithi Kanakamedala’s course “African-American History”, Andie Silva’s course “Technologies of Reading”, and Janette Tilley’s course “Music Since 1945”. Applicants can also peruse open sites via Baruch College’s Blogs@Baruch platform and New York City College of Technology’s OpenLab.

Applicant Qualifications

All faculty from all disciplines and those teaching across instructional modes (face-to-face, hybrid, and online) at all levels are eligible to apply for this fellowship. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee, which will prioritize:

  • applications from campuses that don’t already support WordPress-based teaching and learning platforms;
  • faculty who are not requiring the purchase of texts for the course;
  • faculty who are teaching large enrollment courses where the OER selections have a likelihood of reuse
  • applications that demonstrate familiarity with the Commons and have specific plans to utilize its affordances to deepen student engagement in the course
  • Selections will also be made based upon applicants’ clarity in expressing what teaching on the Commons will allow them to do in their course.

Criteria for Evaluation

Applications will be evaluated by a review committee according to the following criteria:

  • percentage of course materials assigned as OER;
  • suitability of the proposed course for the Commons;
  • feasibility of the planned integration of OER into a Commons site;
  • demonstrated interest in and experience with emerging trends in educational technology;
  • demonstrated commitment to open teaching.

Submitting a Proposal

Proposals for CAC Faculty Fellowships must include the following, submitted in a single PDF by email to by midnight on November 15, 2017. Please put “CAC Faculty Fellowship Application” in the subject line, and save your PDF as lastnamefirstnameCACFF.pdf.

The application should consist of:

  1. Applicant Information
  • name
  • campus
  • department
  • email
  • mailing address
  • phone number
  1. Course Information
  • proposed course with course number
  • expected number of students
  • major course requirements
  1. Narrative
  • In up to 500 words, describe the course you imagine teaching on the CUNY Academic Commons, how your course would benefit from being part of the Commons and what you hope to get from teaching with the Commons, how you plan to use OER in your course, and your prior experience with educational technology.
  1. CV
  • Please include an updated curriculum vitae with your application.



Selected fellows will receive a $2000 payment after launch of their course sites on the Commons in Spring 2018. Fellowship payments must be made under the limitations of CUNY’s Multiple Positions policy, and may require approval by the home campus and/or department.


Questions about the fellowship or the application process should be directed to Luke Waltzer, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the Graduate Center and Director of Community Projects on the CUNY Academic Commons ( and Matthew K. Gold, Associate Professor of English and Digital Humanities at the Graduate Center and Director of the CUNY Academic Commons (

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes

Skip to toolbar