Why OER?

Posted by: Kate Forrester


The recent Babson survey highlights that many instructors lack a clear understanding of what “Open Educational Resources” (OER) really mean. Today, we’re taking a quick glance at what adopting OER looks like, and four benefits of incorporating OER into your teaching.

Remix Content: the OER movement recognizes and responds to the inflexibility of locked-down content. Imagine being able to customize your teaching materials and align them to your learning objectives. With OER you can remix existing content. You have the ability to build on a text, integrate your own expertise and tailor the materials in a way that makes them work for you.

Use Content: OER materials are available to use, improve and share. Usually you’ll be able to see a Creative Commons license displayed on OER. The type of license attached to the materials indicates exactly how you’re allowed to use the content. See the Creative Commons website for an explanation of each license. 

Share Knowledge: OER enable you to share knowledge and impact more people. By adapting materials and building on existing content, you disseminate your knowledge and expertise. You have the potential to improve learning outcomes for your own students and others beyond the walls of your institution.

Reduce Student Costs: Open content is freely available. By adopting OER and tailoring the materials to your own needs, you’ll create a high-quality text and have a huge impact on your students’ finances. Research indicates that students spend an average of around $1,200 on textbooks each year. In terms of cost alone, OER have the potential to make a college education far more accessible and equitable for all.