It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials intentionally created to be free to students. These open materials are licensed by the authors/creators to permit and encourage adoption, improvement and retention. Materials may be in the form of textbooks, multimedia, full courseware, and more.
OER may include:
open textbooks, course materials/modules,
ancillary materials, 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.
Open access is a key element of Open Educational Resources. Materials accessed through a subscription, institutional membership, or paywall are not considered OER, even if they are free to the end user. Open licensing is an important aspect of the definition, as well. Materials that are openly accessible but licensed in ways which prevent modification or remixing are not considered OER, as they cannot be edited to meet varied educational needs.
What is the problem?
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.
Use of Open Educational Resources encourages faculty to experiment and innovate, facilitate the practice of open pedagogy, and increase affordability of and access to educational experiences.