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Open Education & Textbook Affordability

Open Educational Resources

About Open Educational Resources (OER)

"Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost, and without needing to ask permission. Unlike copyrighted resources, OER have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights.

In some cases, that means you can download a resource and share it with colleagues and students. In other cases, you may be able to download a resource, edit it in some way, and then re-post it as a remixed work. How do you know your options? OER often have a Creative Commons license or other permission to let you know how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared." (OER Commons)

Future Success Through Backward Design. Use OER to align course materials with course objectives. Retain. Keep open content indefinitely. Reuse. Use content when needed. Revise. Modify content for relevancy. Remix. Combine with other open resources. Redistribute. Share in any context.
Benefits of Using OER

For Faculty For Students

Free and immediate access to materials.

Ability to tailor course content based on student needs.

Align and customize materials to meet course objectives.

Opportunities for open pedagogical practices. 

Free or low-cost course materials.

Day one access to course materials.

Easy accessibility for diverse populations.

Same or improved student success compared to traditional textbooks. 

Finding OER

There are many OER producers and repositories that host open content. Listed below are a few websites one can use to search for open content to supplement or replace traditional course materials.

If you would like a librarian to help you with this search you can use the Request OER tab to fill out an OER Request Form. A librarian will curate resources based on the information provided. 

 

Six Steps to OERSix Steps to OER: Step one. Set aside time. Searching for OER takes time and persistence, just like research. Step 2. Look at your current text. Is your current textbook available for free through the library databases? Sep 3. Locate an OER text. Check to see if an OER textbook already exists for your course. Step 4. Browse open repositories. Browse several repositories to see what content is already available. Step 5. Supplement. Use learning objectives to guide repository searches. Step 6. Ask for help. Contact a librarian for help at any time during this process.

"Six Steps to OER" by University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Librarians, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License / Modified text and images from original by Lesley University Library.

OpenStax logo

OpenStax

OpenStax, operated by Rice University, improves access to high-quality open education for students everywhere.

Open Textbook Library logo

Open Textbook Library

The Open Textbook Library provides a growing catalog of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks.

OASIS logo

OASIS

Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) is a tool that searches open content from 97 different sources.

OER Commons logo

OER Commons

OER Commons is a public digital library of open educational resources where educators come to collaborate and improve curriculum.

CC Search logo

CC Search

CC Search is a tool that allows openly licensed and public domain works to be discovered and used by everyone.

BC Campus Open ED logo

BC Campus Open Textbooks

BCcampus uses open technology to facilitate, evaluate, and create open educational resources to share around the world.

SUNY Open Textbooks logo

SUNY Open Textbooks

The Open SUNY Open Access Textbook publishing initiative publishes high-quality, cost-effective course resources.

Open Oregon logo

Open Oregon

Open Oregon promotes textbook affordability for students and facilitates widespread adoption of open, low-cost, high-quality materials.

GALILEO Open Learning Materials logo

GALILEO Open Learning Materials

GALILEO brings together OERs throughout Georgia's University System and includes open textbooks and ancillary materials.

Open Michigan logo

Open Michigan

Open Michigan encourages scholars and students to maximize the impact of their work through open sharing.

LibreTexts logo

LibreTexts

LibreTexts wants to unite students, faculty, and scholars to develop an easy-to-use online platform for Open Educational Resources.

EdTech Books Logo

EdTech Books

EdTech Books provides high-quality textbooks free of cost on an open textbook publishing platform.

George Mason University logo

The Mason OER Metafinder

The Mason OER Metafinder launches a real time search for OER across 22 different sources of open educational materials.

MERLOT logo

MERLOT

The MERLOT system provides access to curated online learning and support materials let by a community of educators, learners, and researches.

COERLL logo

COERLL

The Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning produces and disseminates language OER for the internet public.

Saylor Academy Open Textbooks logo

Saylor Academy Open Textbooks

Saylor Academy is dedicated to creating open courses that include open textbooks for faculty members to adopt into their courses.

Reviewing OER

When reviewing any resource, whether it be a traditional or open textbook, certain measures should be taken into consideration before adoption. The licensing of open textbooks allows for faculty members the option to utilize the 5Rs and open education practices to create content based on course objectives instead of formatting a course based on a traditional textbook.


The Open Textbook Library has provided Open Textbooks Review Criteria for faculty to use when considering which open resource to adopt. 

Comprehensiveness

  • The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary.

Content Accuracy

  • Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.

Relevance/Longevity

  • Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.

Clarity

  • The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used.

Consistency

  • The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.

Modularity

  • The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

Organization/Structure/Flow

  • The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion.

Interface

  • The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader.

Grammatical Errors

  • The text contains no grammatical errors.

Cultural Relevance

  • The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.


This rubric was developed by BCcampus. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Creating OER Resources

 

 

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.