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Open Educational Resources: Home

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of resources available for free to students and faculty, including textbooks, course materials, and guides for creating new Open Educational Resources.

What are Open Educational Resources (OERs)?

Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that offer users (1) free and unfettered access and (2) 5R legal permissions to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute them. They can be used to replace traditional, expensive learning resources.

From the Open Education Group,

From Hiram College Library,

Students Calling for OERs

"According to the College Board, the average undergraduate student should budget between $1,200 and $1,300 for textbooks and supplies each year. That’s as much as 40% of tuition at a two-year community college and 13% at a four-year public institution.

For many students and families already struggling to afford a college degree, that is simply too much – meaning more debt, working longer hours, or making choices that undermine academic success."

From Student PIRGs,

We at Wells College want to make the college experience better by working to minimize these additional costs. 

Why OERs?

Benefits of OERs

OERs can benefit many members of the college community.

How learners benefit:

  • Quality learning materials
  • Financial savings
  • Enhanced quality and flexibility of resources
  • Skills development 
  • The opportunity to test out course materials before enrolling – and compare with other similar courses

How the OER originator can benefit:

  • Student/user feedback and open peer review
  • Reputational benefits and recognition
  • Benefits (efficiency and cultural) of collaborative approaches to teaching/learning
  • Opportunities to work across sectors, institutions and subject disciplines
  • Increased digital literacies 
  • Reaching a wider range of learners

How other staff and users can benefit:

  • Availability of quality peer reviewed material to enhance their curriculum
  • Collaborative approaches to teaching/learning 
  • Professional/peer-to-peer learning about the processes of OER release
  • Increased dialogue within their organization or with other peers in the sector and globally
  • Preservation and availability of materials for endangered subjects
  • Open access to legacy materials

How educational institutions can benefit:

  • Recognition and enhanced reputation
  • Wider availability of their academic content and focus on the learning experience
  • Increased capacity to support remote students
  • Efficiencies in content production (particularly around generic content that can be used across subject areas)
  • New partnerships with other institutions and organizations outside the education sector
  • Increased sharing of ideas and practice within the institution, including greater role for support services
  • A buffer against the decline of specific subjects or topics (which may not be sustainable at institutional level but can be sustained across several institutions through shared resources)
  • Supporting sustainability of legacy materials
  • New relationships with students as they become collaborators in OER production, release, and use

From Jisc,

Our Reference Librarian

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Rebecca Johnston
Louis Jefferson Long Library, Room 200A
Wells College
Aurora, NY

Learn More