Open Educational Resources (OER) Initiatives
In the Spring of 2018, the Center for Online Learning Research and Service at the University of Illinois Springfield will begin two Open Educational Resources initiatives: an Open Educational Resources (OER) Fellows Program for Individual Faculty and an Open Educational Resources (OER) Initiative for Programs. Both initiatives serve to reduce or eliminate students’ textbook costs by increasing the adoption and use of OERs in classes or programs at the University of Illinois Springfield. Lower textbook costs have been attributed to increased access and better learning outcomes for students.
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
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
- Creative Commons
- 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
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 Initiatives at UIS
UIS is sponsoring two OER initiatives for its faculty: an OER Fellows Program for Individual Faculty and an OER Initiative for Programs. Contact COLRS at (217) 206-8251 with questions about these initiatives.