Open Educational Resources (OER): About OER

This guide for offers guidance on finding and evaluating free textbook alternatives and other open educational resources.

What are OER?

OER are teaching, learning, and research resources released under an open license that permits free use and adaptation by others. 
They include:
  • Courses/syllabi
  • Course materials
  • Lesson plans
  • Open textbooks
  • Learning objects
  • Videos
  • Games
  • Tests
  • Software
  • Any other tool, material, or technique that supports access to knowledge

OER allow users 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, or altered;
  • Remix: the original or revised content can be combined with other content to create something new;
  • Redistribute: copies of the content can be shared with others in its original, revise,d or remixed form

Open Education” by SPARC is licensed under CC BY 3.0  / excerpted from original

For more information on OER, checkout the OER Toolkit from College Libraries Ontario.

Why use OER?

  • 65% of students report not purchasing a textbook because of its high price [1].
  • College textbook prices rose 82% between 2003 and 2013, approximately triple the rate of inflation in overall consumer prices (CPI) during the same period of time (27%) [2].
  • Textbooks cost A LOT.

  • Open resources make learning more accessible to lower income populations.
  • Open resources allow faculty to adapt materials to the specific needs of each course.
  • Open resources allow scholars to immediately share information globally.
Open Education Fact Sheet” by SPARC is licensed under CC BY 3.0

[1]U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Student PIRGs. 2014. Fixing the Broken Textbook Market.
[2] Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2014. Consumer Price Index Databases.

Do OER work?

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