Open Educational Resources (OER) are "teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others." (Hewlett Foundation)
OER materials are released under an open license granting permission for everyone to:
OER include digital learning material such as:
OER provides an alternative to the rising costs of education. The high cost of textbooks can be a substantial financial burden for students. The average cost of textbooks exceeds $1,200 annually for undergraduate students (Kopf, 2015).
In a 2012 study, 65% of students reported opting out of buying textbooks, and 35% take fewer courses due to textbook costs (U.S. PIRG). As textbook costs continue to rise and publishers limit access to digital content, an information economy is created that is detrimental to students. This problem is likely to escalate in the future.
OER provides an opportunity for faculty to try new ways of teaching and learning that are more collaborative and participatory.