Open Educational Resources OERs are "digitised materials offered freely and openly for educators, students, and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning, and research" (cited from OECD).
OERs can include: full university courses, open textbooks, interactive mini-lessons and simulations, or K-12 Lesson Plans, worksheets,and activities
Why Use OER?
OER supports a future where students and instructors have free access to a wide variety of high-quality educational resources that have been collaboratively developed, reviewed, revised, and shared across institutions. A future where educational resources can be easily adapted to fit within the context of specific courses, and to meet the needs of specific students. A future where the cost of creation, use, and maintenance is much lower than the rising costs of textbooks and other classroom resources.
Benefits for Students
Using OER can provide a tremendous cost savings for students as well as impact student success and completion rates. The cost of textbooks can be a huge financial burden, which not only affects student success, but could also delay graduation for students who are taking fewer classes per term because of that cost, further increasing financial costs for students over time.
Open educational resources allow students to have access to learning materials as soon as the course starts, so they can make the most of them to support their learning. Research reviewed by the Open Education Group shows that most students perform as well or better using OER course materials compared with students using traditional textbooks.
This is not a negligible point, as recent results of Florida Virtual Campus' 2018 Student Textbook and and Course Materials Survey show:
Because of the cost of required textbooks:
Benefits for Faculty
Faculty using OER enjoy great freedom in selecting course materials, and can customize these materials to fit the specific needs of their students and goals of their classes. Since most OER permit adaptation, educators are free to edit, reorder, delete from, or remix OER materials.
Use, Improve, Share
Network and Collaborate with Peers
Lower Costs and Improve Access to Information