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Open Educational Resources: OER Basics

What are OERs?

While there is no one, standard definition of Open Educational Resources, UNESCO offers this:

"Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions."

OERs are typically:

  • Free to access online
  • Low cost to get a print copy
  • Licensed by the author/creator with rights that are less restrictive than copyright (i.e. all rights reserved). This license typically (though not always) includes the right of any user to copy (digitally) & print the text as well as the right to adapt it as desired for use in a course, as long as authorship is attributed and use is non-commercial.

Open Textbooks are a type of OER that are designed to be a free or low cost alternative for a traditional textbook.

Why OERS?

Why Open Textbooks?

Textbooks vs. OER

Faculty & Student Benefits to Using OER

Faculty Concerns


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