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OER: Open Educational Resources: Why OER?

Why OER?

Making the switch to OER can be overwhelming if you just dive in.  Have a goal and keep these tips in mind:

  1. Take some time to understand how OER will be beneficial to you and your students.  Is your end goal to save students money?  Do you wish to achieve a deeper connection between your course learning outcomes and the learning material?  Are you looking to shake up your pedagogy?  Maybe all three of these?
  2.  Identify your course learning outcomes.  Regardless of any additional goals, you should still start this process by revisiting your course learning outcomes.  They are the foundation upon which your students' learning will be assessed.
  3. Use this Libguide to locate OER.  What kinds of resources will best support your students in achieving these learning outcomes?  Is it a textbook?  A coursepack?  Interactive modules or simulations?  Ancillary content such as quizbanks, flashcards, or multimedia creation?  This guide contains links to a multitude of open resources.
  4. Evaluate OER.  OER sometimes requires a close evaluative eye.  While many repositories host only peer-reviewed content, many do not.  Outdated content is a big challenge in the OER movement.  Check to see when the resource was last revised.

How will you participate? The 3 C's of OER

  1. Consumer - will you just be a consumer of OER?  Perhaps finding an open textbook and assigning it to your class?
  2. Creator - will you be a creator of new OER?  Revising and remixing open content to create a brand new resource for your students?
  3. Contributor - will you contribute back to the community your new creation under an open license?  

This movement is all about sharing.  It goes against the culture to use someone's openly licensed material to create your own, and then not to share your new resource in return with an open license!  Whenever possible, be all 3 C's: consumercreatorcontributor!

Why Are Textbooks So Expensive?

The College Textbook Shakedown infographic

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Lindsey Gumb
Lindsey Gumb
Scholarly Communications Librarian
Associate Professor

Roger Williams University Library
Bristol, RI
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