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Open Educational Resources (OERs): Home

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.

What is OER

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. By creating or adapting OERs, you can make high-quality educational materials such as textbooks and modules available at a lower cost. Most of the materials linked from this guide are Creative Commons-licensed, so you can adapt and re-use the material as long as you attribute the author. 

The Five R's of Openness:

  • 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)

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Open vs. Public Access

When using open access materials for PSU coursework, it is best to use no-cost open access materials and pass those savings on to students. The term "open access" is often used interchangeably with "free of charge," but this is not always the case. An important distinction must be made between something that is open access (and freely available) versus something that is truly public access (and free of charge). For more information visit the Public Library of Science (PLOS) guide, How Open Is It? 

This material was created by David Wiley and published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at http://opencontent.org/definition/

Why You Should Use OER

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Flexibility 

Move beyond the restraints of traditional pedagogy and explore new ways to connect students with learning content.  Open Educational Resources allow instructors to customize course content to the specific learning goals of their courses and adapt new approaches to teaching and learning. 

Affordability

With the rising cost of higher education, every dollar counts.  The ballooning cost of expensive textbooks and course materials is outpacing inflation and wages, resulting in a negative impact on students.  The 2016-2017 report from the National Association of College Stores found students spent an average of $579 on their required course materials.  

Student Success and Retention

One study shows that 65% of students don't buy textbooks due to the cost, even when they know it will affect their grade.  Nearly 50% of students reported that the cost of textbooks directly impacts what types and the number of classes students are able to take.  Help your students succeed by using no-cost textbooks and course materials. 

HB2871 and the "No-Cost/OER" Icon

Beginning winter 2018, the Schedule of Classes will have a "No-Cost/OER" icon as required by Oregon House Bill 2871.  The following definition will guide the use of the icon:

"This course exclusively uses textbooks and/or course materials with no cost to the student.  Instructors either develop original materials, or access freely available or open educational resrources (OER)"

No cost course materials can include journal articles, ebooks, book chapters, and streaming media that are licensed by PSU Library as these resources are available via subscriptions maintained by the PSU Library and students may use for free. 

HB2729 (2017) advances this work through 2017-2019 by continuing to fund the Open Educational Resources (OER) Grant Program, supporting faculty, staff, and librarians to increase the use of OERs in their courses and on their campuses, and evaluating the effectiveness of OERs.  For more information on HB2781 and HB2781 visit the Open Educational Resources page on the Higher Education Coordinating Commission's website. 

Learn More about OER