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What is OER?
Open educational resources (OER) are any resources available at little or no cost that can be used for teaching, learning, or research.
The term can include textbooks, course readings, and other learning content; simulations, games, and other learning applications; syllabi, quizzes, and assessment tools; and virtually any other material that can be used for educational purposes. OER typically refers to electronic resources, including those in multimedia formats, and such materials are generally released under a Creative Commons or similar license that supports open or nearly open use of the content.
OER can originate from colleges and universities, libraries, archival organizations, government agencies, commercial organizations such as publishers, or faculty or other individuals who develop educational resources they are willing to share.
Educational resources developed in an open environment
can be vetted and improved by a broad community of educators,
resulting in materials that represent what the educational community
sees as most valuable. By providing educators with new
access to educational material, open resources have the potential
to spur pedagogical innovation, introducing new alternatives for
OER have the potential to expose students and
instructors to the long tail of content, most of which never finds
its way into widespread educational use. Moreover, learning resources
that can be modified and reused promote collaboration
and participation—two key elements of a digital pedagogy.
The resources required to develop high-quality learning materials
and activities for a full complement of courses can be prohibitive
for many institutions and instructors. By distributing the costs
over a larger number of users, OER brings a greater range of tools
within reach of more users. OER can also lower the costs for students
to obtain educational content.
Open Educations Resources
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are resources such as textbooks, lesson plans, and course materials available for free or minimal costs. Initiatives like this are designed to make the teaching and learning process more widely available and to enable curricular collaborations across institutions.
OER is guided by the following 5 R's
- Retain – i.e. no digital rights management restrictions (DRM), the content is yours to keep, whether you’re the author, instructor or student.
- Reuse – you are free to use materials in a wide variety of ways without expressly asking permission of the copyright holder.
- Revise – as an educator, you can adapt, adjust, or modify the content to suit specific purposes and make the materials more relevant to your students. This means making it available in a number of different formats and including source files, where possible.
- Remix – you or your students can pull together a number of different resources to create something new.
- Redistribute – you are free to share with others, so they can reuse, remix, improve upon, correct, review or otherwise enjoy your work.
OER Resources and Repositories
OER Commons curates content for a variety of educational environments and subjects. The catalog draws from other OER collections.
Users have the ability to set up an account and curate their own OER collections as well as create pages to share resources they've created.
OpenStax CNX is a repository of textbooks, course materials, assignments, lesson plans primarily geared towards a post-secondary environment.
Authors may submit texts, course materials, assignments, and lesson plans for inclusion in the repository.
MERLOT--short for Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching--is a collection of resources organized into detailed subject areas designed for use in higher education.
Saylor provides open-source online courses that people may take, revise, and/or remix to suit their needs.
College Open Textbooks
Openly available textbooks geared towards a higher education environment.
Open Textbook Project
This project, sponsored by BC Campus, is part of a larger initiative to encourage open textbook adoption and revision.
Open Course Materials
MIT Open Courses
Syllabi, assignments, readings, and more for MIT courses on a variety of subjects for both Undergraduate and Graduate student populations.
Global Text Project
The Global Text Project is a small repository of textbooks freely available throughout the web.
Lumen Open Education Resources
Catalog of courses--including degree programs--built entirely from Open Educational Resources.
Literature and Reading
Fully scanned books, films, sound recordings, and other digital resources that can be used in and outside of the classroom.
Public Domain ebooks--including many classic works--available for free in the United States.
Open Culture Audiobooks
Audio recordings of public domain books--including many classics--available for free in the United States.
Free public domain Audio Books.
F.M. Smith Library