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Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources released under an open license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER can be full courses, course materials, lesson plans, open textbooks, learning objects, videos, games, tests, software, or any other tool, material, or technique that supports access to knowledge.

SPARC

Textbook costs create a financial burden on college students that can impact their academic success. The rising costs of commercial textbooks have continued to outstrip inflation, adversely affecting access to higher education and student learning as students forgo buying textbooks altogether. Open textbooks can help alleviate the burden of textbook costs. Open textbooks are full, real textbooks that are licensed to be freely used, edited, and distributed. There are tens of thousands of freely available open educational resources and open textbooks, and a wide variety of tools to help you discover them.

How OER benefit faculty:
  • Provide flexibility in curriculum
  • Increase student retention
  • Allow you to build your own resources with licensed materials
  • Promote your work to a global audience
How OER benefit students:
  • Do not add costs
  • Provide supplemental learning materials for courses
  • Help students determine what classes or program to enroll in
  • Make students better prepared for classes

An increasing number of quality open textbooks are available for faculty. Many OER projects provide access to free, peer-reviewed textbooks covering a wide variety of subjects.

For a list of popular tools to locate, create, and store open textbooks and resources, see http://guides.library.msstate.edu/oer.