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Open Educational Resources

A guide to help faculty find and use Open Educational Resources.

OER Basics

Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials that either exist in the public domain or are openly-licensed, usually with Creative Commons licenses (DeRosa & Jhangiani, 2018).

This means they are free to use for educators and students.

While faculty do not have direct control over most of the costs of college for students, one area where we can directly reduce the cost of attending college is by choosing alternatives to expensive textbooks.

OER save students money, and they offer additional benefits for teaching and learning.

Use this guide to learn more about OER, how they benefit students and faculty, and how to find OER for your courses.

Getting Started

If you're interested in reducing costs for students and improving teaching and learning by using OER in your course, these steps can get you started:

  1. Review your learning objectives.
    • ​​​​​​​Focus on what you want students to know or be able to do, not on the textbook you're trying to replace.
    • With OER, you might use several different materials to teach different topics in your course.
  2. Search for existing OER.
  3. Adapt and supplement the OER you found.
    • One of the true advantages of OER is the ability to customize them based on the specific learning outcomes of your course.
    • Once you have OER that might support your learning outcomes, revise and remix the materials as you see fit.