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Open Education Resources

Open Education Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) "... are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions" (Hewlett Foundation). They may include, but are not limited to, textbooks, readings, multi-media files, software, assessment tools, and even entire courses. Most are covered by licenses that allow for using, re-mixing, and sharing.

Benefits of Adopting OER

Benefits for Faculty

  • Increase student retention by reducing costs
  • Assures academic freedom to modify or add content to your specifications
  • Extends your academic profile
  • Provides more relevant and engaging materials for your students
  • Your students will perceive you as kinder, more encouraging and more creative

Benefits for Students

  • Low cost or free
  • Easy to find and access (even before classes start)
  • More customised and relevant

OER Research

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Adopting and Adapting

Steps to Adopting an Open Textbook If you are an instructor looking for an open textbook to assign to your class, here are some suggested ways to go about using a textbook:

  1. Search an OER repository (see the EOR repository page on this site for a list).
  2. Review and evaluate to see if it matches your criteria and based on:
    • content
    • presentation
    • online accessibility
    • production options
    • platform compatibility
    • delivery options
    • interactivity
    • consistency between online and printed versions
    • and available ancillary material (test banks, PowerPoints, etc.)
      OER Evaluation Guide
  3. Decide if you want to use as is or modify it.  If you are interested in modifying an open textbook, check out  BCcampus Open Education Adaption Guide.
  4. Distribute to your students. Options can include:
    • providing the link to the textbook in the repository
    • download copies of the book and put them on another site (Omnivox- Lea, Dropbox, Google Docs, a faculty website, etc.)
  5. If you are using a BCcampus textbook, let them know

For more information, check out the BCcampus Open Education Adoption Guide.