Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources (OER) can be textbooks, lectures, videos, or entire courses complete with assignments and learning objectives. The open license under which OER are offered allows educators the "5 R Permissions" that move beyond copyright restrictions typical of traditional commercial textbooks:
- They can retain and make copies of materials.
- They can reuse materials in a wide range of ways.
- They can revise, adapt, modify, and improve materials.
- They can remix materials by combining multiple OERs.
- They can
redistribute and share materials with others (Lovett, Meyer, & Thille, 2008).
OER are rising in popularity due to use benefits such as:
- Free or Low-Cost Price Point - Learners and educators can often use these without cost (Fischer, Hilton III, Robinson, & Wiley, 2015).
- More Immediate Access – Learners and educators can often access these immediately online as they need to or pull contents into a shared space like Blackboard or OneDrive.
- Customization/Tailored Materials – Educators don't have to be concerned about imposed publisher revisions as they can save and customize materials to suit their needs, such as editing text; reordering, deleting or adding chapters; asking learners to co-construct content, etc. (Feldstein et al., 2012).
Research has shown OER are of comparable quality, if not better than, traditional commercial textbooks (Feldstein et al., 2012; Hilton, 2016). Studies of their use suggest learners may have more positive course outcomes in terms of engagement, higher grade averages, and lower failure and withdrawal rates when open textbooks are leveraged by educators (Grewe & Davis, 2017; U.S. PIRG, 2014).
Here are some starting points:
Here are examples of repositories with no-cost texts, supplements, and materials for download/use:
- Doab (Director of Open Access Books): over 8,800 academic peer-reviewed books and chapters
- MERLOT: curated online learning and support materials
- OER Commons: single search source the pulls from multiple OER collections.
- OER Metafinder: simultaneously searches multiple OER repositories
- Open Textbook Library: open textbooks reviewed by educators from a variety of colleges and universities.
- Open Stax: math, science, social sciences, humanities and AP
Here are examples of repositories with low-cost texts, supplements, etc. For use through an online platform and also sometimes available for download/use: