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Open Educational Resources (OER): What & Why?

This guide contains a selection of Open Educational Resources for teaching, learning, and research purposes.

Open Educational Resources

Open Education Resources are freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes.

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?


"Open Educational Resources 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 repurposing 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."

OER are 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.

The most commonly used intellectual property license for OER that permits free use and re-purposing is called Creative Commons Licensing. Creative Commons licenses work with legal definitions of copyright to automatically provide usage rights pertaining to that work.

Why choose digital materials?

Inflection Point: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2019

The model of course material distribution and selection is at an inflection point.

  • There is a growing acceptance (even preference) by faculty for digital materials. More faculty now prefer digital over print, and they report that their students are likewise accepting of digital materials.
  • Faculty, chairpersons, administrators, and even entire college systems are increasingly concerned about the cost of materials for their students. This is driven by historically rising prices and the emergence of lower-cost alternatives, resulting in a growing awareness of cost as an issue at multiple levels within the institution.
  • An understanding on the part of faculty that many of their students are going without the required text. This is reported as primarily a cost concern, but also because the students are not convinced that they need the materials.
  • The introduction of new publishing and distribution models by commercial publishers, the most important being "inclusive access," has substantially altered the options available to faculty.

Who Can Help You?

Fagdeba Bakoyema

College of Business Administration

Natasha Jenkins

Social Work

Monica Hodge

College of Health Sciences (CoHS); University College (First Year Experience)

Jessica Platt

College of Education; Psychology

Neil Foulger

Music; History & Political Science

Edna Foxhall

Health Information Management

Kashonda Murphy 

Visual Arts; Communications

Teisha Robertson

College of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (CSTEM); University College

Hassna Ramadan

Languages & Literatures; Criminal Justice & Social Sciences; Theatre Arts

Caleb Hendrix

Visual Arts

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