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Open Educational Resources
This is a libguide designed to help faculty locate open resources for academic use.
What is OER?
What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?
Open educational resources (OER) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes.
Open Education "...is the simple and powerful idea that the world’s knowledge is a public good and that technology in general and the Web in particular provide an extraordinary opportunity for everyone to share, use, and reuse knowledge."
—The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
How OER Benefits Education
How OER benefits education
In addition to cost savings, OER have been shown to improve student learning. Learn more about the impact of OER from these resources:
- "Instructor and Student Experiences with Open Textbooks, from the California Open Online Library for Education (Cool4Ed)": This 2017 paper examines faculty motivations for adopting OER, cost savings, student attitudes toward open textbooks, and OER's impact on student learning and retention.
- "Open Educational Resources: A Catalyst for Innovation, Educational Research and Innovation": This 2016 report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) covers a variety of OER issues.
- Open Education: International Perspectives in Higher Education: This 2016 collection of essays explores the ways in which open education can democratize access to education for all.
- "Opening the Textbook: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2015-16": This 2016 report from the Babson Survey Research Group is based on a survey of more than 3,000 faculty.
- "Covering the Cost: Why We Can No Longer Afford to Ignore High Textbook Prices": This 2016 report from the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) contends that "Unnecessarily high textbook prices contribue to student economic hardship, and are a drag on enrollment, completion, and student success."
- "The Tidewater Z-Degree and the INTRO Model for Sustaining OER Adoption": According to this 2016 journal article, a growing body of research confirms the financial and academic benefits for students whose faculty adopt OER.
- "A Multi-Institutional Study of the Impact of Open Textbook Adoption on the Learning Outcomes of Post- Secondary Students": According to this 2015 journal article, in three key measures of student success (course completion, final grade of C- or higher, course grade) students whose faculty chose OER generally performed as well or better than students whose faculty assigned commercial textbooks.
- Lumen Learning is profiled in "Kim Thanos Wants to Take Down the Textbook Industry": from The Chronicle of Higher Education (April 20, 2015).
- "Putting a Dent in College Costs With Open-Source Textbooks": from The New York Times (Feb. 25, 2015)
- "Open Textbooks: The Billion Dollar Solution": This 2015 report by the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) concludes that if every U.S. student had just one traditional textbook replaced with OER or an open textbook, it would save students more than $1 billion annually.
- The New Media Consortium's Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Education Edition identifies OER as a trend that will drive adoption of educational technology in higher ed for three to five years. Read "Proliferation of Open Educational Resources."
- “Fixing the Broken Textbook Market: How Students Respond to High Textbook Costs and Demand Alternatives”: This 2014 report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Student PIRGs explores how high textbook costs can have a ripple effect on students’ academic progress.
- Open Educational Resources: Breaking the Lockbox on Education: This 2013 white paper from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation explains why it's investing in OER and how it envisions success.
- Open Education Research Hub (OER Hub): Provides extensive information and data on the effect that OER are having in education, including learning outcomes and financial impact. This site is a project of the Open University.
- Lumen Learning: Provides links to published materials documenting the cost savings, learning gains, and other impacts of adopting open educational resources
Information above accessed at http://www.oer.arizona.edu/content/about-oer
Director of Educational Resources & OER Specialist, Title III SIP Grant Director, Adjunct Instructor