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OER: Open Educational Resources

This Research Guide was adapted following a Fall 2019 Faculty Workshop entitled "I didn't know the Library can help with that!" covering OERs and Faculty Publication Management by Dean April Aultman Becker.

What is an OER?

"Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others." (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation).

Texas State University Libraries helps further differentiate OER from other resources with these definitions:

  • Open Textbook is a term used to indicate a Textbook that is fully OER.
  • Public Resources are materials that are free, but licenses still protect the content in some way.
  • Library Resources do not cost your students any money, and should also be considered as a means to lower the total cost of learning for your students.

Why use OER?

More and more, OER are coming up in conversations pertaining to higher education because:

  • Student Debt: Use of OER can reduce the average annual cost of textbooks
  • Student Success: Use of OER can remove student motivations to take fewer courses, illegally obtain course content, or attempt to complete a course without course texts or content
  • Faculty Collaboration: Use of OER encourages collaboration, growth, and sharing globally
  • Faculty Freedom: Use of OER allows customization and localization of course materials to fit specific needs.