Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning materials that are created or managed by commercial publishers, but with open licenses. These resources are free for students and allow faculty to revise materials to fit individual courses specifications.
Some benefits of using OER materials:
- They’re free!
- Easily accessible
- Can supplement existing materials
- Can be updated/changed anytime
What about quality? There are some helpful tools to aid in quality control. Websites like Open Textbook Library provides user reviews, and ratings of OER supplies, that have been used by other professors. There are also discipline specific organizations who review and track the quality of OER resources. For example, the American Institute of Mathematics has compiled a list of approved OER textbooks ranging from algebra to pre-calculus. Additionally, several studies have been conducted which focus on the quality and effectiveness of OER resources. For a list of studies click the link.
OER materials are accessed by faculty and students via licenses. Materials can range from pdf text books, that can be downloaded or printed, to fully interactive course modules with assignments and assessments built in. If you are interested in using OER resources, you can start by going to: