Open Educational Resources (OER)
What are OERs?
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media. OERs may be an individual module or learning object or entire courses or textbooks.
Goals of OERs
Adopting OERs in your classes can provide many benefits:
- OERs can provide students with superior and more current learning tools
- OERs can significantly reduce or eliminate the cost of required textbooks
- OERs can increase access to higher education through greater affordability
- OERs can be accessed by students after the course, unlike rental textbooks
Where can you find OERs?
There are several online sources of OER materials. The following are some recommended sites to start searching for OER materials for your courses.
- UIS Brookens Library OER Resources
- George Mason Metafinder
- Creative Commons
- Open Textbook Library
- Wisconsin Online Learning Object Repository
- Virtual Labs and Simulations
- Flickr Commons
- Creative Commons Licensed Images in Google
- Wikimedia Commons
- OER Commons
- BC Campus Open Toolkit
- Affordable Learning Solutions (California State University)
- Federal Resource for Educational Excellence
- Gateway to 21st Century Skills
- Open SUNY Textbooks
Learn more about the common types of open licenses used for OERs.
What tools can I use to create my own resources?
In addition to common word processing and presentation software programs, faculty can create their own instructional materials using more sophisticated publishing tools.
OER Fellows Program
In the Spring of 2018, the Center for Online Learning Research and Service at the University of Illinois Springfield began an Open Educational Resources (OER) Fellows Program for Faculty. The initiative serves to reduce or eliminate students’ textbook costs by increasing the adoption and use of OERs in classes at the University of Illinois Springfield. Lower textbook costs have been attributed to increased access and better learning outcomes for students. Contact COLRS at (217) 206-8251 with questions about the OER Fellows Program for Individual Faculty.
OER Conference & Event
Learn More about OERs
Lumen Learning has created an OER Champion Playbook that is useful in planning for and executing the use of OERs. Ray Schroeder, Associate Vice Chancellor of Online Learning at UIS, publishes a blog that curates OER news articles. To receive updates to the blog, subscribe using your news reader.