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Open Educational Resources (OER): Home

This guide has been created to help instructors locate and use open educational resources (OER).

About this Guide

The resource guides are divided to correlate with the Pathways, and they include resources for topics that fall under the Pathway. For example, you can find resources for Economics under Business, Entrepreneurship, and Law.

What is OER?

Open Educational Resources (OER) Logo

"OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge." [1]

The terms "open content" and "open educational resources" describe any copyrightable work (traditionally excluding software, which is described by other terms like "open source") that is licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:

  1. Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  2. Reuse - the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

from opencontent.org

 

A good place to find OER resources is Canvas Commons. You can find complete courses, modules, and other resources already formatted for Canvas. Just be sure to check the licensing of the resource before downloading it. Here is a guide showing how to use Canvas Commons.

Other places:

Multimedia Resources

The Effects of OER

Faculty Concerns about OER

Q: As a faculty I depend on the test banks that publishers provide with a textbook adoption. Do OER or Open Textbooks provide test banks? And if they're open, what's to prevent a student for getting access to them?

A: Many open resources do provide test banks (PowerPoint lectures, and other supplementals we're used to getting from a publisher). To answer the question about "protected resources" we went to Nicole Finkbeiner, Associate Director of Institutional Relations, Rice University's OpenStax CollegeFinkbeiner says "In terms of 'protected' resources such as test banks, you have to find a way for students to not be able to access these. And, you don't want to openly license these because then you have no way to combat them being published. At Rice University’s OpenStax College, our website is set-up so faculty have to first register for an account and then request faculty access prior to being able to download them. We check every single account to ensure the right official email is used, they are in fact teaching a course where they would need the resources, etc. Sometimes we even call the department chair directly to make sure we should be providing access, so this is definitely a labor-intensive process, but I think it is worth it to protect the resources."

  • "Faculty should also be very careful not to post any protected OER resources in a public environment, such as a website."

Q: I am nervous about letting go of my textbook because I don't know if OER/Open Textbook authors will keep the resources up to date. How can I trust that the resources I select will be kept current and accurate?

A: It's true that adopting open resources in place of a traditionally published textbook involves a change in how you think about your course textbook. Adopting OER involves a feeling of ownership of the course resources that you might not experience with a traditional textbook. Because of the open licensing you are free to update the material as you see fit, as long as it has the appropriate Creative Commons licensing. Due to the open nature of these resources, collaboration with other instructors (within or outside this institution) or with your students to improve the open resources you use is a common occurrence, and means the work of updating is spread across many people instead of sitting solely with you. Yes, it's a shift of perspective, but it's an exciting one, full of potential.

  • There are a growing number of open textbooks that have the kind of publisher services faculty expect, with regular updates, printed and bound copies available for purchase, test banks and other instructor supplementals.

*Read more FAQs at Kirkwood Community College Libraries, Cedar Rapids, IA.

Coordinator, Online Learning

Electronic Resources/Web Librarian

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Jalyn Warren
Contact:
Community College of Philadelphia
1700 Spring Garden Street, L1-16D
Philadelphia, PA 19130
215-751-8304
Website
Subjects: Education, Psychology
Main Campus: 215-751-8394 | NERC Learning Commons: 215-972-6270 | NWRC Library: 215-496-6019 | WERC Learning Commons: 267-299-5848