Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Make a difference in your students' lives with free, openly-licensed textbooks and course-supporting content

OER Professional Learning Community

Fall 2020 - Through common readings, group discussion, and peer-to-peer presentations from faculty who have adopted or created OERs for their classrooms, attendees will learn how to identify, evaluate, and incorporate quality Open Educational Resources in their courses.

AFA 202 Open Textbook

What is an OER?

What is the difference between OA and OER?

Open Access (OA) and Open Educational Resources (OER) are closely related. Both are freely available with no paywalls and are often found in Institutional Repositories, such as EKU's Encompass Digital Archive.

  • OA generally refers to scholarly articles that are freely available
  • OER refers to teaching and learning materials (textbooks, question sets, materials in the public domain, and other course supporting material) that are free and open with a creative commons or similar license for anyone to reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute. 


For a great, comprehensive introduction to OERs, please watch David Wiley's TEDxNYED Talk as well as the Introduction from the OER Starter Kit.

Textbook Costs and Your Students

Did you know that a 2016 study of students showed that 67% of them had opted out of buying (or renting) a required textbook because of the price? [1]

Did you know that faculty who have adopted open resources in their classes have seen similar or better student outcomes than print textbooks? [2]

Chart illustrating effect of textbook costs on students from 2016 Florida Student Textbook Survey

Ways to reduce student costs

  • Consider using OERs 
  • Incorporate existing library resources 
  • Write your own OER textbook!
  • Follow #OER on social media
  • Spread the word! Tell your colleagues about affordable alternatives


Learn more:

OER Instructional Websites

Are OERs as rigorous as commercial textbooks?

Further Reading

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