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Open Educational Resources   Tags: oer, open_education  

A guide for getting started with Open Educational Resources, and ways to find Open Educational Resources
Last Updated: Jun 14, 2017 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

Getting Started Print Page

Read More About OER

  • Open Textbooks Could Help Students
    As the price of college textbooks continues to increase, more students are opting to skip the books even if their grades suffer, a survey conducted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group has found. In a report released on Monday, the group said open textbooks—written by faculty members, peer-reviewed, and available free online—could help make textbooks affordable again.
  • The Cost and Quality of Open Textbooks
    The Cost and Quality of Open Textbooks: Perceptions of community college faculty and students. by TJ Bliss, John Hilton, David Wiley and Kim Thanos.
  • 7 Things You Should Know about OERs
  • On Quality and OER
    Blogpost by David Wiley
  • Report: Make Textbooks Affordable
    As publishers keep costs high by pumping out new editions and selling books bundled with software, students are forced to forgo book purchases or otherwise undermine their academic progress.

Getting Started

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials in any format that reside in the public domain or have been released with an open licence that permits access, use, repurposing, and/or redistribution by others with  limited or no restrictions (Atkins, Brown & Hammond, 2007). OER can include full courses, course materials, textbooks, interactive materials such as simulations and role plays, databases, software, apps (including mobile apps), websites, videos and any other materials useful for teaching or research. 

Here's a sampling of stuff you might find:

First Year French

How Everyday Things are Made

Retail Alphabet Game


What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

OERs are educational materials that are specifically designed by their creator/s to be openly available, and are often licensed to be re-used, re-mixed, and re-distributed.  Open is not just about low cost (though that is an important benefit of using OER) but about the ability to take what others have created, customize it for your specific educational needs, and then share your creation with others.  

OERs can come in a variety of forms:

  • Primary sources - Images, video, and sound recordings.  Some  sources are in the public domain, while others have been licensed as open by their creators.   In addition, many texts that are in the public domain are available online/electronically.
  • Learning content - created content that ranges from individual lectures, animations, and assessments to complete courses and textbooks.  


Why OERs?

The open resource movement has been around for a while, starting with static learning objects (about 2000), and transitioning to OERs that allowed for revision and reuse.  It is the ever increasing cost of textbooks and materials for students that is now pushing the OER movement forward.  Textbooks and learning materials cost students approximately $1,100 per year.  

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 in 10 students didn't purchase a textbook because it was too expensive.  Through OERs the cost of student materials can be drastically reduced.  OERs also give instructors the ability to customize the materials, creating the "perfect" textbook instead of being bound to traditional print resources. 


    How to Find OER (Edutopia)


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