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Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources: The Basics

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

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." (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation)

What are the advantages to OER?

  • Students can access OER online for zero cost.  They may download and keep a digital copy of resources, print, or purchase a low-cost hardcopy.
  • Educators can curate, tailor, and share OERs to perfectly suit their curriculum, and share their innovations freely.
  • Authors can disseminate their work to a worldwide audience while still receiving attribution.

Are OER just about textbooks?

OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge that are freely available.

Want to know more?

Click on the discipline tabs above to discover OER related to your discipline. Did you know you can contact your subject librarian for assistance in identifying OER materials that work best for your classes?

Check out The OER Starter Kit by Abbey Elder which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Already using OER in your classes?

We would like to know about it!  Email us and tell us what class you have used OER in, what resource you have used, how many semesters, and an estimate of how many students have benefited from OER.

Also, see the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, SPARC Open Education Fact Sheet and Massachusetts Open Education – Achieving Access for All have additional information and statistics.

Sources: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the SPARC Open Education Fact Sheet

OK, I am interested - now what?

Contact your subject librarian for assistance in identifying OER materials that work best for your classes. Also explore the information provided by discipline (see tabs on left).

Fitchburg State University OER Committee 2019-2020:  Laura Baker, Franca Barricelli, Nicole Chelonis, Andrew Goodwin, Jackie Kremer, Mathangi Krishnamurthy, Viera Lorencova, Jason Smith, Connie Strittmatter, Kisha Tracy, Jiang Yu

Search Across OER Platforms

Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)‚Äč

Created by George Mason University, the Mason OER Metafinder searches sixteen targets in real-time, instantly returning the top several hundred or so relevant hits from each site.

Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS)

Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) is a search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. OASIS currently searches open content from 52 different sources and contains 155,375 records. OASIS is being developed at SUNY Geneseo's Milne Library in consultation with Alexis Clifton, SUNY OER Services Executive Director.