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A Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER)

What is OER?

“Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.” -- Hewlett Foundation

Open content uses free license that grant users permission to:

Retain - Make, own, and control

Reuse - Use the content in a wide range of ways

Revise - Adapt, adjust, customize, or alter the content

Remix - Combine original or revised content with other material to create something new

Redistribute - Share copies of the original content, your revisions or remixes

Why Choose OER?

Save money:

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. Calculate the impact that switching to OER can have.

Improve access:

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. 

Democratize learning:

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. 

Adapted from Collister, Lauren B. OER-Open Educational Resources under a CC-Attribution 4.0

Library Owned Materials

While not OER  there are electronic and physical resources available to you through Cline Library. These are resources that are available to students at no extra cost. These materials are restricted to NAU faculty, staff and students and do not allow for customization and re-use in the same way as OER.   Before adopting material provided by Cline Library, contact a librarian to discuss licensing & access issues as some content does not allow for simultaneous usage.