Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely accessible teaching, educational, and research materials that either exist in the public domain or are available to users via an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing. These resources include complete online courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, assessment tools, and software. They provide people worldwide with access to quality education and the opportunity to share, use, and reuse knowledge.
The Babson Survey Research Group reports in Opening the Curriculum that three-quarters of the faculty who commented about OE material quality judged them to be “the same or better than traditional resources.” The challenge is increasing faculty awareness of the resources that are available. Your Subject Librarian can assist you with locating free or low-cost resources as alternatives to high-cost textbooks.
To learn more, become part of a community interested in OER by attending the annual Open Education Conference and network with others who have successfully integrated free resources (either as is or tailored) into their courses. The Adopting Open Textbooks workshop offered by BCcampus will teach you how to find, evaluate, and adopt open textbooks for your courses and connect with other educators who are interested in open education. Check out the OER Policy Registry to find out more about current and proposed open education policies around the world.
See the following selection of Open Educational Resources collections you may use, re-purpose, and distribute for your teaching and learning needs. You will also see entries to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) for those who are interested in taking a full-blown, non-credit class on a subject or need particular lectures to boost their learning in a for-credit course. Learn more about how you can support the adoption and development of high-quality open courses and educational resources by visiting our section on grants and OER advocacy.