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Open Educational Resources (OER): Home

About OER

According the Hewlett Foundation, a pioneer in Open Educational Resources (OER) research, "Open Educational Resources 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, adaption and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions." Often online library educational resources (LER) are mistaken for OER, but there is a distinct difference between the two as outlined below.

OER vs. LER

OER

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 (UNESCO).

OERs include a wide range of materials, including: assessments, assignments, books, case studies, courses, journals, primary sources, reference materials, simulations, tutorials, tests, audio/video files, and textbooks.

5 R's of OER:

  1. Reuse
  2. Retain
  3. Revise
  4. Remix
  5. Redistribute

LER

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Library (Licensed) Educational Resources (LER) are generally not considered to be Open Educational Resources (OER) since they are usually purchased or licensed and are not openly accessible in the public domain.  But, LER are openly accessible via user authentication to the community of card holders for that particular library!  By using these LER, such as ebooks, online journal articles, and streaming media, you can lower textbook costs for students. These are high-quality, often peer reviewed resources that students can access at no additional cost.

Before using LER resources for your class, you must check for copyright and/or licensing restrictions, and be aware that not all LER (especially ebooks) allow for multiple, simultaneous users.  Reach out to your Polk State College librarians for help or questions related to this and adding LER content to your courses. 

Attribution: NSU Libraries from Open Educational Resources (OER)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Evaluate

Evaluate OERs in the same manner that you would review textbooks and other materials for your course. Some considerations: 

  1. Does the content cover what you'd like your students to learn? Is it robust and challenging enough for your students? 
  2. How accessible is this content? Is it too technical or complicated to implement? 
  3. What are the permissions? Examine the Creative Commons license the resource is under. 
  4. Determine how you would like to use the OER. Does only a portion of the work apply to your class?  Can you combine it with other resources? Does the library have additional resources to supplement the OER? 
  5. Align the OER with your learning objectives and lesson plans.
  6. Save and organize your resources in a central location. 

OER Initiatives

Click the image below to learn about OER initiatives at other colleges and universities.

oer book cover

OER Training Guide for Faculty

Click the image below for a three-part training guide for bringing higher education instructors up to speed with Open Educational Resources (OER).


OER training manual book cover

5 Rs of OERs

Attribution

This guide was adapted from Open Educational Resources by University Library at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Open Educational Resources at Northern Virginia Community College by NOVA Librarians. 

Polk State College is committed to equal access/equal opportunity in its programs, activities, and employment. For additional information, visit polk.edu/equity.