Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are freely available for use, either because they are in the public domain or because they are intentionally released under a special copyright that allows for the materials to be used without cost.
There has been tremendous growth in the number, types, and quality of OER resources in the last few years as instructors have discovered how an OER-approach can support student learning:
- OERs ensure that resources are immediately available to students, so no student falls behind while waiting for a textbook
- OERs remove financial pressure from students
- OERs are online resources, which can be more relatable to modern students than a traditional textbook
- OERs are multimodal in nature, allowing instructors to present course material through a mix of text, audio, video, presentations, interactive approaches, etc.
- MCCCD’s Maricopa Millions Project has been encouraging the creation of OER materials and OER classes through development grants; these OER materials are then available to other instructors who want to adopt and/or customize them. In addition, many websites offer complete courses as well as course materials, which can be tailored to an instructor’s needs. OERs are a major component of efforts to expand the availability of educational opportunities and to break down barriers to student success.