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Resources for Faculty

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?


"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."

Source: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. For more definitions of OER, view the Creative Commons Wiki.

Why Use OER?

There are many reasons instructors might want to use OER:

Free and legal to use, improve and share

  • Save time and energy by adapting or revising resources that have already been creating
  • Tailoring educational resources to the specific content for your course
  • Expands opportunities for interdisciplinary teaching and learning by allowing instructors to integrate and revise multiple educational resources
  • Redefines "traditional" learning by often incorporating multi-media or scenario-based education
  • Allows instructor to go beyond the confines of "teaching to the book"

Network and collaborate with peers

  • Access to educational resources that have already been "peer-reviewed" by other experts in your field
  • Many resources have a review or annotation feature so instructors have more in-depth knowledge of the resource and its quality quickly
  • Makes learning and teaching more collaborative

Lower educational cost and improve access to information

  • Reduces the cost of course materials, particularly textbooks so that all students have access and aren't as financially burdened
  • Find and access information instantly on virtually any topic, and can access with various devices.
  • Gives learners the option of looking at course content openly before enrolling.
  • Can reduce the students bear, sometimes increasing graduation and retention rates

Find OER Materials

Instructors can find OER in a variety of resources. Most OER organizations or collaborations have a database or central list of resources that faculty have added. Some databases also feature annotations or faculty feedback. Additionally, many disciplines have their own OER websites. This list is not comprehensive but can instead be used as a starting point for faculty doing interdisciplinary work or work in any discipline. Remember that not all of the learning materials in these repositories and sources are OER for modifying but most of the content is freely available under Fair Use and/or with attribution.

View General and Discipline-Specific OER Materials.

For More Information

View the Open Educational Resources (OER) Guide for more information about OER and how to find OER materials for your class.

For questions about OER contact:

Peter Klubek - Interim Head of Reference & Research Services
Call: (337) 482-1171