Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials and resources published in the public domain with open licenses. These open resources are offered freely and legally for use by anyone to adapt, improve and re-share.
OER may include:
open textbooks, course materials/modules,
homework assignments, quizzes, test banks,
lab activities, games, simulations,
self-developed educational videos and learning objects.
OER are released under an open license granting permission for everyone to:
retain - users have the right to make, archive, and own copies of the content.
reuse - content can be reused in its unaltered form.
revise - content can be adapted, adjusted, modified, and altered.
remix - original or revised content can be combined with other contents to create new content.
redistribute - copies of the content can be shared with others in its original, revised or remixed form.
Most OER are released using terms of Creative Commons (CC) Licenses and understanding CC will help you to have a more positive experience with using OER.
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.
Why OER Matters?
OER provide an opportunity for faculty to try new strategies for teaching and learning that are more collaborative and participatory. Faculty are using OER as an alternative to get students more involved and using the OER process as a way to collaborate with them on content creation. The process brings students into a larger context of learning and sharing knowledge beyond the classrooms.
Open Textbook Adoption Directly Impact Student Success
The OER Adoption Impact Calculator helps you understand many of the potential impacts of adopting OER instead of traditionally copyrighted learning materials. The values in the Settings on the left are set to defaults based on the published research referenced below. Change the Settings on the left so that they match the situation at your institution in order to see how replacing traditionally copyrighted materials with OER might benefit your students and institution. The information below will update in real time as you make changes.