Open Educational Resources (OERs) at Saint Mary's College

This guide is an introduction to Open Educational Resources and how to find, evaluate, use, and adapt OER materials to help reduce textbook costs.

Using OERs in Your Class

Provide your students an alternative to expensive textbooks by following these steps:

  1. Search for the appropriate textbooks for your course. (Browse the open textbooks sources found on this guide.)
  2. Review and evaluate the textbooks based on the content and whether it suits your teaching style and your students. 
  3. Decide if you want to use the textbook as is, edit, or modify the contents. If you want to make edits make sure the licensing allows that. 
  4. Distribute to your students.
  • Adopt -- use an OER as is to replace high-cost materials
  • Adapt -- based on class contexts, combine multiple OER (and add original open content)
  • Author -- publish and license your own work as OER

Adopting:

Adapting / Modifying:

5 Rs of OER

Within the bounds of Creative Commons licensing there are 5 key points to consider when using OERs:

  1. Reuse - Content can be reused in its unaltered original format - 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)
  2. Retain - Copies of content can be retained for personal archives or reference - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  3. Revise - Content can be modified or altered to suit specific needs - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix - Content can be adapted with other similar content to create something new- 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 - Content can be shared with anyone else in its original or altered format - 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)

OERs include a wide range of materials: assessments, assignments, books, case studies, courses, journals, primary sources, reference materials, simulations, tutorials, tests, and textbooks.

This material is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at http://opencontent.org/definition

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.