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Open Educational Resources (OER) & the Affordable Instructional Materials (AIM) Initiative: Adapting, Modifying & Creating OER

Learn more about how SUNY Erie is dedicated to helping faculty find, adopt, and adapt free or low-cost course materials to support student success.
    Questions about how to adopt or adapt OER?  Ask a Librarian!  Contact: Justin Cronise [cronisej@ecc.edu] - OER Lead, AIM Library Liaison

AIM / OER Course Reporting

There are a variety of ways you can use OER in your course, but if your required course materials are free (or at least less than $30 to qualify as AIM), always remember to:

  1. Update your syllabus so students can see that they don't need to purchase a textbook!

  2. Identify your course as AIM (Affordable Instructional Materials) via the ITS HelpDesk  > [Request Something] > [Online Learning & Web Services] > [Affordable Instructional Materials Course Reporting].  Then students, faculty, and advisors can find your AIM and OER courses.

OER Pathways

OER pathways:

  • Replace your current textbook
    Let's say you've found an openly-licensed text, such as one published by OpenStax (yay!) 
    • Next Steps: Contact Distance Learning for help adding the content to Blackboard.  Then, you will be able to start adapting the text, changing the order of modules, or otherwise customizing the content. 

  • Adopt and adapt an “Open Course”
    You've picked a course from SUNY OER Services, such as Biology I, an engaging and interactive course developed by Lumen Learning and based on an Openstax text.
  • Adopt as you go / Mix-and-match

Need something a little more customized? There might be multiple books, websites, and courses out there that will fit your needs.  Some may be openly-licensed and others may be copyrighted but free to access.  You can always add individual content pieces to your course in Blackboard as described in the adjacent box "5 Ways to Use OER in Your Class." 

  • Next Steps:  Contact Justin Cronise at SUNY Erie Libraries if you need help finding content that can best support your course objectives.  Make sure to include appropriate attribution depending on the licensing.  Use the Open Attribution Builder below or contact us if you have questions about properly attributing a work, OER or otherwise.
  • Create your own

Have you written course materials you want to openly license and share? Are you looking to develop some new material to use in your class?

  • Next steps:  We have support through SUNY to create and share OERSUNY OER Services can provide support throughout the development process, coordinate peer review, and provide access to formatting and editing services.  You can also use a platform such as OER Commons, where you can write, edit, collaborate, and publish your work. 

Distance Learning

SUNY Erie's Distance Learning department and Instructional Designers are available to help too!


  • Adding Content into BlackboardCC-BY "computer graphic designing" by Vectors Point from the Noun Project

(Yay, you've found OER! ) Distance Learning can help add or integrate content into Blackboard, whether it's a single OpenStax textbook module, or a full Lumen Learning Waymaker-enabled course from SUNY OER Services.

  • Modifying, Adapting, or Remixing

Our Instructional Designers at Distance Learning can help you customize your OER content to your course and get you set up to make changes as you see fit, as well as navigate appropriately attributing OER sources if you're combining more than one OER source (see Open Attribution Builder below).

  • Making Content Accessible / ADA-Complianttool-wrench-screwdriver-spanner-3456474 from Pixabay

Distance Learning can help make sure your content is accessible for students in compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), which includes properly addressing hyperlinks, audiovisuals, documents, and text design.  


Contact Distance Learning: online@ecc.edu | (716) 851-1942

Open Attribution Builder

call the library: City Library North Library South Library
716.851.1074 716.851.1273 716.851.1772