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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Why OER / Benefits

Seven reasons I should start using OER in my classes today

Pace Students
  1. The ever-increasing cost of textbooks and materials for students is now propelling the OER movement forward around the globe.
  2. Textbooks and learning materials cost students approximately $1,200 per year.
  3. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 in 10 students did not purchase a textbook because it was too expensive. 
  4. The cost of textbooks is rising at a rate of 4 times of inflation.
  5. OERs allow required textbooks and materials to be available to all students from the very first day of class or beforehand.
  6. Some faculty enjoy the opportunity to include upper-level students in the creation of course materials.
  7. According to the U.S. Public Research Interest Group’s (PIRG) Education Fund and The Student PIRGs (2019), 65 percent of students choose not to buy an assigned book due to its cost. This decision directly hurts students' grades and academic performance.


Benefits of using OER:

Increased Performance in Courses

Some research has found that students in courses that implemented OER had better grades and lower failure and withdrawal rates than their counterparts in courses that did not use OER. Results indicate that OER adoption does much more than simply save students money and address student debt concerns. OER improve end-of-course grades and decrease DFW (D, F, and Withdrawal letter grades) rates for all students.

Source: Colvard, Nicholas B., C. Edward Watson, and Hyojin Park. "The Impact of Open Educational Resources on Various Student Success Metrics." International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 30, no. 2 (2018): 262-276.


Expanded access to learning

Materials can be accessed anywhere at any time.

Ability to modify course materials

Customization gives faculty control over the quality of their course materials, as well as the type and timing of updates to textbooks and other resources.

Continually improved resources

Unlike textbooks and other static sources of information, OERs can be improved quickly through direct editing by users or through solicitation and incorporation of user feedback. Instructors can take an existing OER, adapt it for a class, and make the modified OER available for others to use.

Additional Benefits: undefined
  • Showcases research to the widest possible audience.
  • Enhances a school’s reputation as well as that of the teacher or researcher.
  • Demonstrates social responsibility by providing education access for all.
  • Shares best practice internationally.
  • Creates additional opportunities for peer review.
  • Maximizes the use and increases the availability of educational materials.
  • Raises the quality standards for educational resources by gathering more contributors.