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What are Open Educational Resources?
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use (SPARC*). They include a multitude of formats, including textbooks, full courses, modules, videos, labs, assignments, and assessments.
What makes them "Open"?
OERs are licensed in such a way that enables adopters to utilize the 5 Rs:
- RETAIN a copy of the content
- REUSE the content in a range of ways
- REVISE the content as needed
- REMIX original or revised content with other material
- REDISTRIBUTE the original, revisions, and remixes with others
Creative Commons licenses are often applied to OERs to license these rights to adopters.
Why do OERs matter?
- Students save money: Furman's estimated cost for textbooks and supplies for 2016-2017 is $1,270. This is inline with national averages which continue to increase at a staggering rate.*
- Pedagogical freedom: Faculty can add, remove, and modify content to fit their classroom rather than having an expensive textbook dictate topics and order.
- Immediate and lasting access: Resources can be accessed immediately, retained, and returned to again and again.