Open Educational Resources (OERs) at Saint Mary's College
This guide is an introduction to understanding the world of Open Educational Resources, what they are, how to find, evaluate, use, and adapt OER materials for use in the classroom to help reduce textbook costs.
Teaching and learning materials: online courses, textbooks, worksheets, streaming videos, tests, software, etc.
licensed to be shared freely and repurposed by others
What are the benefits of using OERs in my class?
You can customize the materials with the content that's right for your class (and up-to-date!)
Students can contribute to course materials (Learn more: Open Pedagogy)
Your students don't have to pay hundreds of dollars for textbooks and lug them around in print, which means they're equally or more likely to do the homework, stay in your class, get good grades, afford rent and food, and graduate. (Learn more: OER research summaries)
But the quality must be worse than commercial textbooks, right?
Just like commercial textbooks, some OERs might be better for your particular needs than others, but in most studies, students and faculty rated their OER textbook equal to or better than their typical commercial textbooks. Many go through editorial oversight and/or peer-review, and many come with ancillary products like study guides and test banks just like commercial textbooks do.