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Open Educational Resources (OER): Introduction

Open Educational Resources (OER) are any type of educational material that are freely available for teachers and students to use, adapt, share, and reuse.

Photo by OpenSourceWay

Education is sharing.   David Wiley, Lumen Learning              

Open Educational Resources (OER) are any type of educational material that’s freely available for teachers and students to use, adapt, share, and reuse.

Examples of OER include learning content (such as lesson plans, assignments, textbooks, exams, and videos) as well as tools for learning (like software for creating videos and websites, course management systems, word processing programs, and training materials).

Why is OER important?

For Students

  • Lower costs of attending University
  • Less of a loan burden after school, reducing payments and defaults

For Faculty

  • More control over instruction
  • More diverse course content
  • Reducing the need to deal with publishers and the bookstore
  • Students having course materials at the start of the semester

For the University

  • Improvements in retention, graduation, and loan default rates.

OER Make an Impact

OER are being adopted by faculty at universities around the country. Even just a few faculty using OER rather than costly textbooks and course materials can have an incredible impact on the student experience. The infographic below shows some figures from one project in British Columbia.

Infographic from the Open Textbook Project at BCcampus

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