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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Open Educational Resources (OER) can be any type of educational material— a class handout, an image, even a textbook, or an online course. OERs use open copyright licenses such as Creative Commons that allow for different degrees of openness and allow users, like faculty and students, to engage in one or more of the 5Rs:

This material is adapted from David Wiley and published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at 

Adopting and developing OERs benefits organizations and instructors while also benefitting students. 

Organizational Benefits 

  • Promotes innovation
  • Increases faculty engagement and development opportunities
  • Contributes to collaborative working relationships                              

Instructional Benefits

  • Gives departments/faculty control over textbook content, presentation
  • Textbook content can be tailored to learning objectives and student needs
  • Content can be modified and refined as needed 

Student Benefits

  • Saves students the cost of textbooks
  • Helps ensure that all students with access to the internet have equal access to the textbook
  • Accessibility features enhance student learning

Adapted from Why OER?, a chapter from Open Educational Resources: Basics & Beyond, which is written by Oklahoma Council for Online Learning Excellence (COLE) Member Volunteers and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.