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OER: Home

A Guide to Help Find OERs

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)

"Open educational resources (OER) are any resources available at little or no cost that can be used for teaching, learning, or research.  The term can include textbooks, course readings, and other learning content; simulations, games, and other learning applications; syllabi, quizzes, and assessment tools; and virtually any other material that can be used for educational purposes."

Source:  "7 Things You Should Know About Open Educational Resources" by EDUCAUSE

Effectiveness of OER

The above video summarizes a research article that synthesizes the results of 16 studies examinig the effectiveness of OER. (Hilton, John. "Open educational resources and college textbook choices: A review of research on efficacy and perceptions." Educational technology research and development 64 (2016): 573-590.)

Benefits of OER

Open Educational Resources (OER) can:

  • Save money and improve access for students.
    • Access to course materials is an indicator of student success. (Colvard, Nicholas B., C. Edward Watson, and Hyojin Park. "The impact of open educational resources on various student success metrics." International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 30.2 (2018): 262-276)
    • To save money, students often borrow or rent textbooks instead of purchasing them and then sell them back at the end of the semester. OER are accessible immediately, at no or low cost and continue to be accessible after the course is over.
    • In October 2020, W&J students had the opportunity to participate in a national survey about textbook affordability and 149 students responded. 70% of respondents reported that they were concerned that not buying or renting a textbook would hurt their grade. Even with that concern, 30% of the respondents indicated that they had skipped buying or renting a textbook. 
  • Provide instructors flexibility by their ability to be customized to meet the specific needs of a course.

  • Provide a wider audience for authors/creators

  • Expand the reach of authors/creators to a wider audience. 

  • Empower under-represented communities by eliminating obstacles to publishing and sharing their work 

Open Textbooks by W&J Faculty