Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely available educational materials that are able to be downloaded, edited, and shared with an open license. OER can be used as main resources in a course or to supplement resources in a course. They can also supplement library materials, such as subscription databases and journals, provided at no cost to students.
OER are built upon the 5Rs:
Source: CC BY David Wiley (adapted)
Learn more about how OER reduce costs, expand access, and improve quality of education with these resources from Nicole Allen and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition):
There are many benefits to including OER in your courses! OER are...
This video provides additional context and the benefits of OER:
CC BY intheacademia
For an in-depth look at the benefits of OER used at the college level, SPARC recommends this 2019 article from the journal Educational Technology Research and Development, authored by John Hilton III:
Fact: Open means the permission to freely download, edit, AND share materials to better serve all students
Fact: OER take many formats, including print, digital, audio, and more
Fact: OER can be produced to the same quality standards as traditional textbooks
Fact: Open licensing makes OER easy to freely and legally use
Fact: Models are evolving to support the sustainability and continuous improvement of OER
Fact: Open textbooks often come with ancillaries, and when they do not, existing OER can provide additional support
Fact: Any institution can start with small steps toward OER that make an impact for students
Source: CC BY SPARC (2017). OER Mythbusting. Washington, DC: SPARC.