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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

What are Open Educational Resources (OERs)?

  • Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching, learning, and research objects that are licensed and made available so that they are free to use and repurpose
  • OERs are typically internet-based, but there are no platform restrictions.
  • OERs take many forms, such as textbooks, course materials, scholarly articles, images, videos, etc
  • OERs often use Creative Commons licensing that allow users to engage in the 5R activities

Why use OERs?

Improving Access to Education by Lowering Costs: 

Adopting OERs in place of the traditional text(s) is one way to combat prohibitive materials costs, and improve equity and inclusion at our institutions. 

Textbook costs have been driven down by the trend towards online education over the past five years, with many students choosing the cheaper e-book option for their courses. But even digital texts can be prohibitively expensive for some students, and those students who cannot purchase the required text face greater barriers to success than their counterparts who are able to afford it. This affects the equity in our classrooms, and our ability to create inclusive environments in our institutions.  

Innovation and Remixing:

Aside from saving costs for students, OERs offer faculty the opportunity to be innovative, collaborative, and creative in their course design

Faculty have the opportunity to redefine traditional learning by incorporating multi-media, and go beyond the confines of “teaching to the book”. OER can take many forms, such as: syllabi, lesson plans, videos, software, tests, teaching techniques, group activities, writing prompts, textbooks, learning modules, experiments, simulations, and course designs. Most Open Educational Resources (OERs) are licensed with Creative Commons, making it possible to not only reuse their content, but revise, remix, add upon, and/or translate it to meet different needs.