Skip to main content

Affordable Learning Resources: What are OER

Learn about affordable learning resources and open educational resources (OERs).

What are Open Educational Resources?

""Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use.* They include a multitude of formats, including textbooks, full courses, modules, videos, labs, assignments, and assessments.

Image by Open Scotland is licensed under CC BY 4.0

What makes them "Open"?

OERs are licensed in such a way that enables adopters to utilize the 5 Rs:

  1. Retain a copy of the content
  2. Reuse the content in a range of ways
  3. Revise the content as needed
  4. Remix original or revised content with other material
  5. Redistribute the original, revisions, and remixes with others

Creative Commons licenses are often applied to OERs to license these rights to adopters.

Why do OERs matter?

  • Students save money: CofC's estimated cost for undergraduate textbooks and supplies is ​$1218. This is in line with national averages, which continue to increase at a staggering rate.*
  • Pedagogical freedom: Faculty can add, remove, and modify content to fit their classroom rather than having an expensive textbook dictate topics and order.
  • Immediate and lasting accessResources can be accessed immediately, retained, and returned to again and again.