“Open Educational Resources 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 repurposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.” – William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The Five Rs of OER
- Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
- 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)
- Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
- 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)
- 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)
Why should I replace my textbook with OER?
- All textbook content is used – avoiding the slalom course style of using a publisher textbook.
- Faculty have a closer connection to the content because they curated it.
- Courses are customized for the local student population.
- Course materials are low cost or free for students.
- Course materials are available to students before, during, and after the semester. They don’t have to wait on financial aid to purchase course materials, and they have access to the information even after the course ends.
- Teachers and learners view learning as a creative process, a collaborative process, and as a shared experience.
From Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Hunt Library:
According to the Florida Virtual Campus’s 2016 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey, students took the following actions as a result of textbook costs:
- 66.6% didn’t purchase the required textbook
- 45.5% didn’t register for a course
- 47.6% took fewer courses
- 26.1% dropped a course
- 20.7% withdrew from a course
- 19.8% failed a course
Other key findings of the survey:
- The high cost of textbooks is negatively impacting student access, success, and completion.
- Textbook costs for Florida university and college students continue to trend higher.
- Required textbooks are purchased but not always used in course instruction.
- In terms of the cost of textbooks and other course materials, college students are in worse shape than university students.
- Students in Associate or Bachelor’s degree programs spent more on textbooks than students in Master’s or Doctorate degree programs.
- Florida students are reducing costs by a variety of means.
- Financial aid covers less textbook costs now than in 2012.