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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Information about locating and using open educational resources

What are Open Educational Resources?

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

From OER Commons: "Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse, without charge. That means they have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights. For some of these resources, that means you can download the resource and share it with colleagues and students. For others, it may be that you can download a resource, edit it in some way, and then re-post it as a remixed work. OER often have a Creative Commons or GNU license that state specifically how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared." (What is OER Commons?)

Many of these resources are licensed under Creative Commons licenses, which allow users varying degrees of freedom to reuse, adapt, and build upon content.

 

You can learn more about what each license allows at the Creative Commons website.

How to Search for Openly Licensed Educational Resources

How to Search for Openly Licensed Educational Resources

Opening the Textbook report, 2016

Awareness of open educational resources (OER) among U.S. higher education teaching faculty has improved, but still remains less than a majority, according to a new report from the Babson Survey Research Group.

Survey results, using responses of over 3,000 faculty, show that OER status is not a driving force in the selection of educational materials – with the most cited barrier being the effort required to find and evaluate such materials. While use of open resources is low overall, it is somewhat higher among large enrollment introductory-level courses. Key findings from the report include:

  • Faculty awareness of OER has increased, with 25% of faculty reporting that they were “Aware” or “Very Aware” of open educational resources, up from 20% last year.
  • Only 5.3% of courses are using open textbooks (includes public domain and Creative Commons licensed).
  • Large enrollment introductory undergraduate courses have adopted openly licensed OpenStax College textbooks at twice the rate (10%) as openly licensed textbooks among all courses.
  • The most common factor cited by faculty when selecting educational resources was the cost to the students. After cost, the next most common was the comprehensiveness of the resource, followed by how easy it was to find.
  • There is a serious disconnect between how many faculty consider a factor in selecting educational resources and how satisfied they are with the state of that factor. Faculty are least satisfied with the cost of textbooks, yet that is the most commonly listed factor for why they select resources.
  • The barriers to adopting OER most often cited by faculty are that “there are not enough resources for my subject” (49%), it is “too hard to find what I need” (48%) and “there is no comprehensive catalog of resources” (45%).

Search for OER Content

Creating Courses with OER

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