Open Educational Resources

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What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are "teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge."

Source: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

What are open textbooks?

Open Access textbooks represent a subset of the Open Education Resources. They have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed.

According to the 2017 Open Source Textbook Report from the University of Connecticut and Connecticut State Colleges and Universities “two-thirds of students did not buy or rent some of their required reading even though their decision may have impacted their grade in a course.” Students who do not purchase textbooks may perform poorly or drop courses altogether. Some may not even register for required courses.

What are Open Licensing and Creative Commons?

For the author or creator of a work, an open license lets others use the content in various way. Use or modifications to the work require attribution be given to the original author. Most open licenses are obtained through Creative Commons, a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools.

Some Primary Sources for OER
The Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)
George Mason University
California State University System
Rice University
Open SUNY Textbooks
The State University of New York
Open Textbook Library
University of Minnesota