The official PR announcement will follow.  The first thing I want you to do though, is to look at the already existing course content available:

Course Catalog for Lumen Learning  <–  Click here now

You will see that courses have four categories of course materials that may come with them.

Via the SUNY agreement, all of this content is free to use in your class, both for you and for your students.  That means free textbooks filled with valuable and editable exercises, demonstrations, simulations, assessments and guided study.  The textbooks are not rented, but can be yours and your students for as long as you wish to keep them. These resources can work well in face to face, as well as hybrid and online formats.

Contact us at for more information.

Here is the official PR:

System-wide agreement makes evidence-based courseware, technology, and OER support services available at no cost to students

Portland, Ore. (June 12, 2019) – The State University of New York (SUNY) and open education innovator Lumen Learning, building on their prior collaboration, have entered into a multiyear partnership supporting SUNY’s strategy to improve college affordability and student success through wide-scale use of open educational resources (OER). Recognizing the importance of establishing the systemic infrastructure to support an initiative of this magnitude, SUNY selected Lumen as a strategic partner to complement its internal capabilities. Under the terms of the agreement, Lumen will provide digital courseware to replace expensive textbooks, a Ready-to-Adopt OER catalog, efficacy research, and a variety of support services focused on improving success for faculty and students using OER course materials in SUNY classrooms. Significantly, SUNY is making these augmented services available at no cost to students.

“A large, diverse higher education system like SUNY needs a vibrant ecosystem to support our many campuses, faculty members, students, and all the ways they are finding to innovate with OER in the classroom,” said Carey Hatch, Interim Senior Associate Provost for Academic Services at the State University of New York. “Lumen shares our vision for empowering faculty members to make continuous improvements to their course materials to strengthen learning, informed by learning data and their classroom experiences. This is a unique partnership working productively on many levels.”

SUNY and Lumen have worked together since 2012, when SUNY campuses began exploring how OER course materials can impact curriculum and improve college affordability. Today the Lumen team works alongside the SUNY OER Services team of SUNY-employed experts in OER adoption who raise awareness about OER and its benefits for faculty and students. During Spring term 2019, over 10,000 student enrollments at 45+ SUNY campuses used Lumen-supported OER course materials. This represents a 75% increase in the number of students impacted compared to Spring 2018.

SUNY leaders attribute this rapid growth in large part to the confidence SUNY faculty members feel as they explore OER course materials, experience their quality, and take steps to replace traditional textbooks with OER. General education subjects have seen the greatest levels of OER adoption within SUNY as faculty members find well-designed alternatives to expensive textbooks in classes that enroll many students. Another driver may be SUNY’s efforts to increase the competitiveness and quality of its online programs, for which OER courseware is well-suited.

“Open educational resources are a great investment because they not only save students money, but they empower our faculty to regain control over their classroom content and there is mounting evidence OER can improve learning. So if we save students money, empower our faculty, and improve the learning experience, it’s a win for everyone,” said Mark McBride, Library Senior Strategist for the State University of New York. “To implement this innovation successfully across SUNY, faculty and students need to be well-supported with outstanding OER content, reliable technology, excellent learning design, meaningful accessibility, and responsive user support. Lumen is uniquely qualified to partner with SUNY for these strategic priorities.”

OER course materials have emerged as a low or no-cost alternative to expensive textbooks in many college courses. OER also grant permissions that allow people to make timely updates, revisions, pedagogical and content improvements to strengthen how effectively course materials support student learning. Lumen Learning’s work with OER, including the development of its courseware, is grounded in academic research with substantiating evidence about what strengthens learning. With the RISE Framework, contributed recently to Carnegie Mellon University’s Simon Initiative, the Lumen team has developed open analytical tools and methods for measuring the effectiveness of OER content at supporting learning. Using these insights, Lumen invites faculty members and subject matter experts to design content improvements targeting areas in which students struggle.

“Our partnership with SUNY is the largest and most comprehensive initiative to date focused on using OER as a primary tool to encourage teaching and learning innovation, with direct positive impact on students, faculty, institutions, and the system as a whole,” said Kim Thanos, CEO of Lumen Learning. “This partnership creates a service infrastructure for discovering, creating, using, and iteratively improving course materials that are highly effective for learning, simple to adopt, and sustainable to maintain over time.”

Today the SUNY community has unlimited access to well-designed OER course materials through SUNY’s Ready-to-Adopt OER Catalog, with no out-of-pocket cost to students. Lumen’s support services include seamless integration for students and faculty to interact with OER content inside any of the multiple learning management systems in use across the SUNY system, including automatic grade return. The Lumen team continues to work with SUNY OER Services and the SUNY Help Desk providing coordinated support for faculty members and students using OER throughout the system.

About Lumen Learning

Lumen Learning provides digital course materials designed to strengthen learning, using open educational resources (OER). Lumen replaces expensive textbooks with affordable digital content that emphasizes interactivity, learning by doing, and ease of use. Adding timely updates, learning design, and technical support to OER, Lumen makes open content simple, reliable, and effective for instructors and students.

Lumen OER courseware includes Waymaker personalized learning courseware and OHM, an online homework system for math and other quantitative subjects. Over 250 colleges and universities across the U.S. use Lumen-supported digital courseware for in-person, online, and blended courses. Materials created by Lumen are published under Creative Commons Attribution licenses and contributed back to the education community. Learn more at, and visit our course catalog at

Media Contact

Julie Curtis, VP Strategy & Communication

Lumen Learning

+1.503.840.5569 |


Attendance Verification Tools and Suggestions

All faculty should have recently received an email regarding attendance verification from the Office of the Registrar.  This is the webpage that relates to the same topic:

The part of this that we can assist with is related to this quote:

“Financial Aid eligibility is determined based on a student’s attendance or participation in an academically related activity in the class.”

In other words, simply taking attendance isn’t good enough.  There must also be proof of academically related activities.  They have some examples of methods for meeting this requirement on their site.

You may already use Clickers in the classroom.  In CELT we always offer the guidance of their use to facilitate learning and engagement in the classroom. Even the largest lecture halls at SBU can be interactive and stimulating when these student engagement tools are used to their fullest.

So… good examples of questions to ask for the purposes of taking attendance and demonstrating academic content, will be:

pre-assessment questions (what do they think they understand or know before you teach the subject)

mid-lesson assessment (are they understanding the concepts you are currently explaining)

homework spot checks (a question about something only covered in previously assigned homework)

post-assessment questions (what did they learn during class… particularly useful when compared to pre-assessment results.)

Questions that explore cultural diversity or opinions (usually anonymous with no right or wrong answers and clearly appropriate to your subject matter.)

Also, they can be successfully used to facilitate and report back group work such as Think/Pair/Share and Jigsaw activities.

These would be poor examples of clicker use and would not demonstrate academically related activities :

Are you here today?
Did you do your homework?
Click in for attendance now.

Other tools that Academic Technologies and CELT offer that can demonstrate both academically related activities and attendance include Blackboard, echo360, VoiceThread, Qualtrics, Google Apps and Adobe Connect.

Please feel free to setup an appointment or attend one of our workshops, to find out more.

ASR for Live Presentations in Google Slides & MS PowerPoint

This is super easy.   But a caveat… we have a BIG feature request for Google and MS regarding this technology.

So here is a recording I made using QuickTime Player on a Mac, of myself giving a test presentation in Google Slides.  You will notice that there is no audio.  I think that I don’t have the audio setup right for QT, but in a way it illustrates the power of this ASR.  Technical problems happen while we are teaching.  It does happen.  In this case, because I was using ASR in Google Slides, you can still receive my presentation through sight.

Hover over the video and click on the icon with the box and arrow, to make the video larger, so you can read the live captions.

Next I try the same basic idea in MS Power Point.  It is slightly more complicated to activate, but still not an overwhelming obstacle.  I also fixed my QuickTime Player audio for this recording. MS uses their own “intelligent services” for the captioning, whereas Google used the Macs built in speech recognition.


Now for the Caveat.  When you are finished, the captions aren’t saved.  If I hadn’t done screen recordings, I wouldn’t even have this much.  So you can’t use them for individuals who would have been employing a screen reader, and you can’t use this to jump start your production of a transcript.  This is only for producing captions during a live talk and only useful for sighted individuals.

If you are interested in using ASR for successfully making your course recordings accessible and even fully ADA compliant, please look into turning on ASR within by using this form.

This is a cross post from

Blackboard Smart Views

Smart Views are a feature in Blackboard which allows you to create custom views of your students, grade columns and categories. Creating custom views allows you to set up new layouts of your information so that you can grade more effectively. These custom views can be favorited so they appear under your Grade Center menu for easy access.

Some of examples of Smart Views in action are:

  • Custom views for your TA’s – Do you have TA’s helping to manage your grading? Set up groups and give your TAs a custom view of their group so they can follow their students easier through the semester.
  • Attendance – Create a custom attendance view so that you can keep your grades and attendance columns separate and organized.
  • Managing Categories – Do you have a lot of tests? quizzes? assignments? Create a smart view to see only them and make sure your students are staying on track.
  • Cross-listed classes – Create groups for each section and you can display a custom group of students so that you know which students belong to which section. Great for joint undergraduate and graduate sections.
  • Keeping track – Want to keep track of how students are performing? Create a Smart View based on their grades to track if they are falling behind.

Interested in setting up Smart Views? Contact CELT for more information!

Changes in technical support for students

Please include the following statement on your syllabi for Fall 2018 :

Need technical assistance?
The Division of Information Technology provides assistance to all who are having trouble accessing a system and/or connecting to our campus network.  Should you have any issues, please contact our service desk on line at: ; call: 631.632.9800; or visit a SINC Site or our new Tech Station located on the first floor of ECC. 


Do you use clickers in your class? Please make sure you let the new bookstore know

Follett Discover
Early today, the following email was sent from our Bookstore Liason to all instructors.   If you use clickers, please make sure  you indicate that you do when you submit your request trough Follett.
Dear Faculty & Department Administrators,

We have begun to transition to our new official bookstore provider, Follett, and we invite you to select the course materials you need through Follett Discover Adopt, the online course material requisition tool.

Remember, there will not be a brick-and-mortar bookstore on campus. All of your “required and recommended” course materials will be available for students to purchase in time for the Summer I, II and Fall 2018 semesters on the website with available shipping to their home, campus store or campus address.

Our goal is to have all of your course materials up on SOLAR by the time class registration begins. Providing your requisition on time ensures that the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) compliance is met and that students can shop early to obtain their course materials at the best prices. By letting Follett know if you will be using the same course materials in upcoming semesters, they can offer our students more money for their course materials at buyback.

The due date for submitting course materials requests for Summer and Fall 2018 is Monday, April 2nd. If you do not require any course materials for your class, please indicate “No Text Required” in the online portal. Additional information and reminders about placing your course material requisitions will be sent to you via subsequent emails.

Open House

Follett will be hosting an Open House event on Wednesday, March 7th from 12:00pm – 2:30pm at Charles B. Wang Center, room 301. We invite you to attend so that Follett can introduce you to the new course material requisition tool and how to log into the portal.

Please click the invite below to RSVP:

Book Buyback

Please remind your students that Follett will be hosting book buyback events at the end of the spring semester at Shop Red West and Shop Red East. When they sell back their textbooks to Follett, it helps other students get the best prices for used books next semester. Textbook rental returns through Amazon@StonyBrook can be dropped off at the campus pickup point location in the Melville library.

Desk Copies

If you would like a complimentary desk copy for the course you are teaching, you can request a digital copy of the book through the Follett Discover Adopt online portal.

The Bookstore Liaison’s Office is here to support you and will answer any questions or concerns you may have. Please reach us at or call 631.632.9828.


The Bookstore Liaison Team

Office of the Bookstore’s Liaison
We are located at the following address:

Office of the Bookstore Liaison — Faculty Student Association
East Side Dining
157 Circle Drive
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4180
C2E: Committed to Excellence!

OPEN SUNY Summit 2/28/18 – 3/2/18

4th annual Open SUNY Summit  is  February 28 – March 2, 2018  @  SUNY Global Center  in New York City.

The Open SUNY Summit, sponsored by the Open SUNY Online Teaching unit, is an annual SUNY-wide conference specifically for Open SUNY Fellows in the experienced, expert, exemplar, and innovator/researcher roles. Anyone, including Friends of SUNY are welcome!

The first Summit was held in 1998 as an annual face to face meeting of the SLN faculty development and instructional design team and the online campus-based SUNY instructional designers whose campuses participated in the SLN program.

Today, the Summit has evolved as a conference intended for all Open SUNY advanced online practitioners with expertise in online program administration, online faculty development/instructional design, online instruction, online support, etc. Friends of SUNY are also welcome!

Check #OpenSUNYsummit for Summit news, status, and updates.