OpenEd20: SUNY Global Commons: Creating an International Experience in the Time of COVID-19

The SUNY Global Commons was a direct response to the COVID-19 shutdowns during the Spring Semester and Summer of 2020. Across SUNY, many students had planned to travel abroad for the Spring Semester. SUNY OER Services, SUNY Online, and the SUNY Office of Global Affairs collaborated to create this open learning experience. My part in building the commons was the most fun, designing a showcase where students could submit and share their work, making a place that this work would be reusable by the international partners over time. We took the project to OpenEd20.

To accomplish this, professors from across the SUNY system created course content for two separate sequences; 6 faculty were chosen to each focus on a different medium for a storytelling course, such as journalism, graphic novels, and podcasting, while 15 faculty created courses based on five different UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The faculty were chose based on their experience with a particular SDG and with working with international partners. The goal is to make all materials openly licensed so that this experience can continue moving forward.

The results of this work were that students were enrolled into two courses. Every student took one of the courses on Intercultural Storytelling, where they each chose a specific medium to gain some expertise in. Then each student chose between the six courses that each concentrated on one of the UN’s SDGs. Working with an international partner and applying the skills from their storytelling course, students created visuals, videos, and descriptive narratives that the non-profit international organizations can use in their marketing and outreach. Each group of students agreed to license their work openly for future use and reuse.

This project prioritized giving students an international experience, even when travel was not feasible, and focused students on organizations that were working on key social justice issues. The final result was a collaboration of a wide range of entities around the SUNY System to bring the course together and 7 sections of students working with 7 international partner organizations to create openly licensed materials that are already being used.

Presenters will share how this project was developed, lessons learned, and how this project combined openly licensed content with other strategic system initiatives.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this presentation, participants will see how one initiative did the following:

Connect Open Education Policy and Practices from OER with Global Learning.

Provide students opportunities to create meaningful original content in collaboration with international organizations.

Organize and present instructor created content, applying UN Sustainable Development to new contexts, and providing students with an international experience while staying home.

Speakers, Ed Beck Instructional Designer, SUNY Oneonta

Chilton Reynolds, TLTC Coordinator, SUNY Oneonta

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