Open educational resources (OER) are materials offered freely and openly for educators and learners to use in teaching, learning and research.
There are numerous benefits to incorporating open materials.
The terms "open content" and "open educational resources" describe any copyrightable work that is licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:
OER pedagogy goes beyond OER adoption by having students create, revise and remix their class materials.
The cost of textbooks is prohibitively expensive for many students. The Florida Virtual Campus (2012) survey of 40 post-secondary institutions demonstrated the significant impact that textbook cost had on students: 63 percent of students did not purchase a required textbook due to the cost and 35 percent reported taking fewer courses due to high textbook costs. If students did not have to purchase textbooks, they would be able to afford to work less and focus more on school (Martin, Belikov, Hilton, Wiley, & Fischer, 2017). By selecting OER in place of traditional textbooks, professors can have a direct financial impact on their students and improve students’ success in their course.
There is evidence that OER is as effective as traditional textbooks (Hilton, 2016). Students generally perform as well or better on exams using OER instead of copyrighted textbooks. They may also enroll in more credits each semester, decreasing their time to graduation.
Unlike traditional texts and articles, using OER enables students to have continued access to classroom materials after the course is over. Instead of being incentivized to sell or return their textbook at the end of the course, students can take OER with them to advanced coursework or for post-graduation use, increasing the influence that the course has on their future.
Creative Commons licenses dictate whether a resource can be revised and remixed, as well as whether it can be used by commercial entities.
Boyle, J. (2008). The public domain: Enclosing the commons of the mind. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Retrieved from http://thepublicdomain.org/thepublicdomain1.pdf.
Florida Virtual Campus (2012). 2012 Florida student textbook survey. Tallahassee, FL: Author. Retrieved from https://florida.theorangegrove.org/og/file/10c0c9f5-fa58-2869-4fd9-af67fec26387/1/2012_Florida_Student_Textbook_Survey.pdf.
Hilton, J. (2016). Open educational resources and college textbook choices: a review of research on efficacy and perceptions. Educational Technology Research and Development, 64(4). pp 573–590. 10.1007/s11423-016-9434-9.
Martin, T., Belikov, O. , Hilton, J., Wiley, D. & Fischer, L., (2017). An Analysis of Student and Faculty Perceptions of Textbook Costs. Open Praxis, 9(1), 79-91.
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (2012). Paris OER declaration. World Open Educational Resources Congress. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/vnSHjk.
Wiley, D. (2016, November 11). Integrating open educational resources (OER) into university courses. Genteels’ Excellence in Teaching Conference at the University at Buffalo. Video presentation retrieved from http://www.buffalo.edu/ubcei/professional-development/genteels/2016/keynote-presentation.html.
Young, J, Woodard, S., Tonks, D., Spring, Kristian, Randall, D.,…,Gong, J. (2014). An open education reader. D. Wiley (Ed.). Pressbooks. Retrieved from https://openedreader.org.