"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)
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.
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 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.
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||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.