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Open Education Resources: Home

Information on open educational resources, including Creative Commons, institutional repository, databases, journals, eBooks, and textbooks.

Open Educational Resources

According to OER Commons, "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. You can always check the parameters of the Creative Commons License by looking up the license type here.

The worldwide OER movement is rooted in the human right to access high-quality education. This shift in educational practice is not just about cost savings and easy access to openly licensed content; it’s about participation and co-creation. Open Educational Resources (OER) offer opportunities for systemic change in teaching and learning content through engaging educators in new participatory processes and effective technologies for engaging with learning." (OER Commons, 2020)

OER is also a valid option when considering financial strain on students and how that financial strain can affect the success and retention of the student body. Consider the amount of students who perform poorly in classes because they did not have the funds to access the textbook for the class or perhaps a student who drops out altogether due to inaccessibility of funds for textbooks. This can easily be remedied by choosing a textbook that is an open educational resource and therefore free. Many sites, such as OpenStax, even offer the student the ability to print the book at a low cost if they are more tactile learners. 

McKee Library provides faculty access to Faculty Select. Faculty Select is a customized site that leverages the technology of the EBSCO Discovery Service platform that enables faculty to find and access open educational resource (OER) content, as well as find and request unlimited user DRM-Free eBooks from their library.

*Note: This information was reused and adapted from the Tennessee Wesleyan Merner Pfeiffer Library.

Why Use Open Educational Resources?

In a recent study, the College Board found that undergraduate students can expect to pay upwards of $1,200 a year for ​​​textbooks and supplies. The cost of textbooks impacts student success and retention. Students who participated in the 2012 Florida Student Textbook Survey answered that, at least once over the course of their academic careers, the cost of required textbooks caused them to:

63.6%      Not purchase the required textbook
49.2%   Take fewer courses
45.1%   Not register for a specific course
33.9%   Earn a poor grade because I could not afford to buy the textbook
26.7%   Drop a course
17.0%   Fail a course because I could not afford to buy the textbook

Open Access Explained!


What is open access? Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen take us through the world of open access publishing and explain just what it's all about. 


Open Education Matters: Why is it important to share content?


A short, animated, infographic explanatory video was produced to illustrate what Open Educational Resources stands for: digital materials that can be re-used for teaching, learning, research and more, made available free through open licenses.