Open Educational Resources (OER) are any type of educational material that’s freely available for teachers and students to use, adapt, share, and reuse.
Examples of OER include: full courses, course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.
OER save money, save time, are reusable, improve access, democratize learning and make an impact! Discover how New York State is supporting OER at Open NYS.
Open Education encompasses resources, tools, practices and policies that are free of legal, financial and technical barriers and can be fully used, shared and adapted in the digital environment. The movement for open education seeks to tap into the vast potential of technology and the Internet to support more affordable, effective teaching and learning.
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are open licensed for:
Reuse – the right to reuse the content in its unaltered / verbatim form
Revision – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself
Remixing – the right to combine the original or revised content with other content to create something new
Redistribution – the right to make and share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others
Retain -- the right to make, own and control copies of content
Open Educational Resources are licensed for the purposes of reuse, revision, remixing, retaining and redistribution by others. The most commonly used licenses to accomplish this are Creative Commons licenses:
CC BY All CC licenses require that others who use your work in any way must give you credit the way you request, but not in a way that suggests you endorse them or their use. If they want to use your work without giving you credit or for endorsement purposes, they must get your permission first.
CC BY NC You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and (unless you have chosen No Derivatives) modify and use your work for any purpose other than commercially unless they get your permission first.
CC BY SA You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work, as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms. If they want to distribute modified works under other terms, they must get your permission first.
CC BY ND You let others copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of your work. If they want to modify your work, they must get your permission first.
The Academic Commons is an open access scholarly repository and publishing platform for the Stony Brook University community. Works in Academic Commons are: freely accessible online, regularly backed up, easily discoverable via search engines, and assigned a permanent URL so they can always be found.
In addition to research articles, use Academic Commons to share your manuscripts, open textbooks and more. Academic Commons supports a variety of file formats, and we encourage you to deposit related materials with your texts (including data, images, audio and video).
Begin sharing your research and creative work Visit commons.library.stonybrook.edu, or contact Darren Chase, Scholarly Communication Librarian, to discuss Academic Commons, open access or other scholarly communication topics. Email Darren.Chase@stonybrook.edu call 631.632.9830.
OER are being adopted by faculty at universities around the country. Even just a few faculty using OER rather than costly textbooks and course materials can have an incredible impact on the student experience. The infographic below shows some figures from one project in British Columbia.
Textbooks are prohibitively expensive for some students, especially those who rely on grants and student loans to attend college. Studies show that 60% of students have not bought a textbook because it is too expensive, and 23% of students routinely forego purchasing a required course textbook because of the expense. (Learn more.)
The Open Textbook project at BC Campus showed that adoption of just 12 Open Textbooks in classes saved their students over $350,000 in one year. (Learn more.)
A study of eight colleges from around the United States shows that students saved an average of $900 per year on textbooks when their professors used Open Textbooks or Open Educational Resources in place of commercial textbooks. (Learn more.)
Students often choose to borrow textbooks from the library or rent them from the bookstore in lieu of purchasing the textbook. For those that do purchase textbooks, many attempt to regain their money by selling the books back to the bookstore or online after the course is over. OER are free and available. Students can take their materials with them after class ends, which means that they will always have access to learning materials for future use.
Textbooks and educational materials are often covered by stringent copyright restrictions, which does not allow reuse in other contexts or modifications or derivations. With OER, students and instructors can re-use and re-purpose the materials not just during the class, but in the future as well.
OER are free and available online, which means that anyone can access and use them. When an instructor makes their teaching material openly available, they can teach far beyond their own classroom. Students can also access these materials, whether they are supplementing a course they are already taking or starting out on an educational journey.
By creating and adopting OER, students and teachers can connect around the world, opening up networks of learning and enhancing collaboration opportunities. Read a story here about a yak herder in Tibet learning poetry from a Stanford professor.