Open Educational Resources (OER)

What are OERs?

Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation).

To truly be considered open, an OER must fit within the 5R’s from David Wiley:

Reuse: Use the content in its unaltered form

Revise: Adapt, adjust, motify, improve, or alter the content

Remix:  Combine the original or revise content with other OERs to create something new

Redistribute: Share copies of the original content, revisions or remixes with others

Retain: Keep access to the materials after the learning event

Why use OERs?

Open educational resources give educators the ability to adapt instructional resources to the individual needs of their students, to ensure that resources are up-to-date, and to ensure that cost is not a barrier to accessing high-quality standards-aligned resources (oercommons.org).

Are OERs Helpful?  

Several thousand students and faculty members have shared their perceptions across more than a dozen studies that have focused on perceptions of OER. In no instance did a majority of students or teachers report that the OER were of inferior quality. Across multiple studies in various settings, students consistently reported that they faced financial difficulties and that OER provided a financial benefit to them. A general finding seems to be that roughly half of teachers and students find OER to be comparable to traditional resources, a sizeable minority believe they are superior, and a smaller minority find them inferior (Open Education Group Review).

Open Textbooks

Open Courses

Open Course Material

General Search Sites

Technical Trades