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OERs: Open Educational Resources: Welcome

This guide introduces faculty to the ideas, purposes, resources and locations for using OERs for required texts, readings, and other course materials.

What is an OER?

What is an OER?

"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."

Larry Kramer, Hewlett Foundation
Open Educational Resources, 4/4/2019

Licenses & Permissions

OERs are part of the larger Open Content movement. Open Content is often licensed through the Creative Commons. These licenses allow permissions known as the 5Rs: Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, and Redistribute. Not every Creative Commons allows every permission, so it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the 6 Creative Commons (CC) licenses.

Why Use OERs?

Why Use OERs?

Aside from the obvious cost-savings for students, instructor, and institution, using OERs (particularly Open Textbooks) can have multiple benefits in the classroom:

  • Easily scalable across multiple classrooms with only a few or hundreds of students
  • Students have access to their texts wherever they have access to the internet
  • OERs can be adapted and ever-evolving works tailored for the unique needs of the students, the class, and the institution
  • Student work can be integrated as part of the process of adapting open textbooks, which means students can be (at least indirectly) involved in improving the text for the next cohort of students.


Reference Librarian

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Linda Park
(315) 279-5208