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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources are educational materials available for anyone to use without cost. Creators often add a Creative Commons license to these resources, allowing for sharing, remixing, or editing. OERs can include:

OER logo features a banner at the top with the words "retain reuse revise remix redistribute"

  • textbooks
  • full courses
  • course materials
  • modules
  • audio recordings
  • streaming videos
  • assignments
  • tests
  • software
  • other resources used to support learning


Why Use OER?

Textbook Prices

Textbook costs have risen 88% over the past decade -- 3 times the rate of inflation (source)

Textbook prices have increased more than 1000% since the 1970s (source)

Statistic reads: 85% of students say paying for textbooks and course materials is financially stressful

Image from "Today's Learner: Student Views 2018" by Morning Consult/Cengage

Using and creating OERs can reduce financial burdens for students by reducing or eliminating the cost of course materials.


Impact on Student Success

48% of students say cost of materials impacts which and how many classes they take (source)

Minority students are more likely to report taking fewer classes to save on textbook costs (source)

65% of students report that they skipped buying or renting a textbook because of cost (source)

43% of students report that they skip meals to pay for textbooks (source)

Statistic reads: 4 in 10 skipped meals

Image from "Today's Learner: Student Views 2018" by Morning Consult/Cengage

The use of OERs can reduce stress and increase rates of course completion for students in all groups, and especially those of historically underrepresented groups.  Students may be more engaged with courses and finish requirements more quickly, ultimately increasing the likelihood they will succeed in completing their degree.


Openness as a Value

As an institution of higher learning, we value making information as freely and easily accessible as possible.  Implementation of OERs puts this value into action by removing or reducing the barrier of cost to education.