Open Educational Resources
What are OERs?
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any kind of resource (readings, images, videos, etc.) that are free and available for you to adapt into your course or other project. OERs are licensed in a way that clearly lets you know how you can use the work, commonly through a Creative Commons license. Resources that are available on the open internet but are not openly licensed are not considered OERs, although they can still be utilized in your course and project if you link out to them.
Why are OERs Important?
The rising costs of textbooks and other course materials have made it harder for students to purchase the required materials for their courses, leading to higher course dropout rates, lower grades, and longer graduation times. OERs and other low or no cost course materials can help alleviate student stress and ensure that all students have the resources they need to succeed.
Benefits of OERs
- No need to consider copyright because OERs are openly licensed and that allows the uses you’ll likely want to make
- Free to both you and your students
- All students have access when the course begins
- Easy to update and edit for both you and the author of the resource
- Not locked in with a specific publisher, platform, or provider
How to Find OERs
AI’s guide on Finding Usable Materials can help you find OERs of all kinds to use in your courses. If you’re looking to switch from a commercial textbook or other readings, you can contact your subject specialist librarian to discuss what OERs or other low cost materials are available in your field.