OpenSem: a student-generated handbook for the first year of college

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open education , open pedagogy , first year experience , student success , college and university students , student retention , student life , First-Year Programs
DeRosa, Robin
This book was created entirely by students in a Fall 2016 section of First-Year Seminar at Plymouth State University. We called the course “OpenSem” because it was organized around a core set of open pedagogical practices. The theme for the course was “Whose Course Is This, Anyway?” Students created all learning outcomes, assignments, course policies, and grading processes. Students curated content and built the syllabus as the course unfolded. Students published all work to their own public ePorts, licensed that work openly, and then leant a sampling of that work to this collection for easy sharing. You can check out our hashtag on Twitter at #opensem, and view the syllabus at This collection is licensed CCBY, and we hope other courses will take this as a starting point, improve and add to this work, and help students to grow a truly learner-developed first-year college curricula! A version of this work is also available at