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Open Educational Resources

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources:

  • Can describe any type of educational resource - textbooks, videos, labs, even entire courses!
  • Are usually created by educators, libraries, museums / archival organizations, government agencies, publishers, etc. 
  • Can be used and shared freely
  • Can be revised or remixed with other materials
  • Usually have Creative Commons licenses or are in the public domain

Why Should I Use OERs?

  • You will save your students money.

    Consumer prices for college textbooks increased 88 percent over the last decade. These increases disproportionately affect students from low-income families.

    Statistics professor David Usinski (Erie Community College, NY) has saved his students over $52,000 since Fall 2013 by using OERs (Gardner-Athey, 2016). 

  • They can help support student success and retention.

    Dr. Usinski has seen:

    • Pass rates increase from 67% to 87%.

    • Fail rates fall from 22% to 11%.

    • Withdrawal rates fall from 11% to 2%.

    (Gardner-Athey, 2016)

  • Pedagogical freedom: you can modify or update them to meet your instructional needs.

    Most OERs can be modified. You can also mix and match various OERs to meet your needs. This frees you from an expensive textbook that dictates the topics you discuss in class, and the order the textbook demands.

  • Your students will have immediate and lasting access to the resources.

    Students often have to wait for student loan dispersements or other financial assistance in order to purchase their textbooks. By adopting OERs in your class, your students will have access on the first day of class.


Gardner-Athey, K. (2016). Open educational resources [PowerPoint slides]. Personal communication.

Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license imageThis guide is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

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