Open Educational Resources (OER)
Provide students with free and low-cost books and materials to impact achievement
What are OER?
Open Educational Resources (OER) are low-cost or free resources in the public domain that are used for teaching, learning and research. They include a variety of content and formats under Creative Commons or open use licensing, from textbooks to simulations to assessment tools.
"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. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge." The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Typically, OERs can be combined or adapted by the faculty member to suit their teaching needs and methods. In addition to the pedagogical advantages allowing faculty to assemble the resources they choose to create diverse learning environments for students, OER can also help lower the cost of education for students, thereby increasing access.
An early example of OER is the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) OpenCourseWare featuring content and materials from more than 2,000 MIT courses. This model, started in 2002, has since been replicated at colleges and universities around the world.