Draft Project Proposal – Rethinking What We Teach – Elevating Diverse Voices in the Classroom

Project Overview

Searching for Open Educational Resources (OER) is time consuming and often frustrating for instructors, particularly when trying to represent diverse voices or content in a Language Other Than English (LOTE). This project will build a digital collection of diverse OER, sourced from the library archive collections held across the 25 CUNY campuses. It will focus on materials from marginalized voices — Women, BIPOC, and LGBTQI+. This collection will function as an OER repository where instructors can easily search and find diverse resources for use in their classrooms.

Keeping the diverse voices framework (Women, BIPOC, and LGBTQI+ ) in mind our team will build this project using the following work plan:

  1. Identify a CUNY instructor, department, or institute in a subject area of interest to the team.
  2. Work with this person or group to identify a subject, author, event, etc. that fits within the diverse voices framework.
  3. Locate materials in a CUNY library that match the criteria identified and work with a librarian to see if this material can be used as an OER.
  4. If the material is not in a digital format, work with library staff to get the material digitized. If the material is in a digital format, proceed to the next stage.
  5. Create a digital project on Manifold.
  6. Ingest the digital material into the newly created Manifold project collection.
  7. Promote the collection through social media and in conjunction with the instructor, department, or institute with whom you have worked.


It is often difficult to find OER that reflect diverse voices, especially materials that are not written in English. Many instructors at CUNY would like to diversify the materials that they use in the classroom and save their students money by creating a Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) course. The creation of this digital OER collection would bring together in one single repository diverse materials sourced from numerous archives housed across the 25 CUNY campuses, such as The Dominican Studies Institute and The Center for Puerto Rican Studies (CENTRO), to name just a few.

Project Audience

This digital OER collection will be built with the CUNY instructor in mind, but as an OER it will be open for anyone in the world to use.

Contribution to DH & Impact

This collection has the potential to change the canon of authors that is regularly taught by instructors at CUNY and around the world. This collection will elevate diverse and marginalized voices bringing them into the classroom where students have the opportunity to interact with materials by authors that better reflect who they are as individuals.

Final Product

A digital OER collection of materials on CUNY’s Manifold digital publishing platform primarily, but not exclusively, created for teaching.

Feasibility Assessment

The digital OER collection will be created and housed on CUNY’s Manifold instance. There is a possibility that we may need to digitize materials and, therefore, it may be necessary to have access to digital scanning equipment. It is unclear what formats we may encounter when we begin to evaluate these archive materials, so even a rudimentary knowledge of, or desire to learn, Google Docs, HTML, CSS, Microsoft Word, Markdown, will be useful. Consultation with CUNY librarians to determine rights and licensing will be essential in determining what can and cannot be published as an OER in this collection. Online research skills are essential. Outreach is very important to this project and team members should feel comfortable corresponding with different audiences in person and via email.

1 thought on “Draft Project Proposal – Rethinking What We Teach – Elevating Diverse Voices in the Classroom

  1. Benjamin Moerch (he/him/his)

    Hi Robin

    I think your project seems relevant and a good use of the digital platforms already existing. I wanted to give you some feedback in the form of some questions that could be relevant to explore in creating the platform. You might already have considered these aspects, but maybe it could be relevant.

    Audience: It is really great you want to keep a diverse framework, and I think the project is addressing a relevant problem. Would it be possible to also include some of the people of the diverse voices in the creation of the Manifold? It could for example be in the process of selecting the relevant material for the OER.

    Sustainability: This was just an idea I got reading the proposal. To make the manifold updated and relevant in the future too, would it make sense to add an option of contacting the platform with ideas for relevant material to add to the collection.

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