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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Quick - the basics!

OER are:

teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use. Generally, this permission is granted by use of an open license... which allows anyone to freely use, adapt and share the resource— anytime, anywhere.

Often in OER organizations and projects, you will find a saying much like the three R's of recycling. For OER, it is the five R's:

Retain
Users have the right to make, archive, and ‘own’ copies of the content.
Reuse
Content can be reused in its unaltered form.
Revise
Content can be adapted, adjusted, modified or altered; [users] have the ability to change the information presented in the OER.
Remix
The original or revised content can be combined with other content to create something new.
Redistribute
Copies of the content can be shared with others in its original, revised, or remixed form. SPARC, Open Education.

To quickly summarize the potential benefits of OER:

For Students

  • Lower costs of attending university
  • Less of a loan burden after school, reducing payments and defaults

For Faculty

  • More control over instruction
  • More diverse course content
  • Reducing the need to deal with publishers and the bookstore
  • Students having course materials at the start of the semester

For the University

  • Improvements in retention, graduation, and loan default rates.

As Perceived by Faculty (Chae & Jenkins, 2015)

  • Lack of time
  • Uninviting climate
  • Copyright uncertainty
  • Lack of technology and technology skills
  • Difficulty in reviewing materials
  • Difference in course specifications

Additionally

  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability
  • Regulations

The guide will be updated periodically based on newly found resources and faculty feedback.

Definitions

Understanding Creative Common Licenses

Creative Common Icons

CC IconAbbreviationMeaning
CC BY BY Attribution – one must cite the source if used.
CC NC NC Noncommercial – one cannot make money off of it.
CC SA SA Share Alike – one can only reuse the resource if your CC license is the same as theirs.
CC ND ND No Derivatives – one cannot alter and redistribute the derivative work

Creating OER

Further Information