Open educational resources (OERs) are any educational resources in any format, digital or physical, that have no copyright restrictions or were published under an open licence that allows for free access, use, adaptation and redistribution.
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Equitable: no cost learning materials
Rising textbook costs have made them prohibitive for a lot of students. A study by Deakin University showed that only 27% of students purchase their required textbook. This is not equitable access.
OERs are available with no or very little cost and offer a solution for financially stressed students without compromising the quality of the education students receive. Less financial stress means students are less likely to drop out. Help your students succeed by choosing OERs.
Flexible: reuse and adapt
OERs can be used, remixed, and edited to suit learning outcomes and student needs in individual topics.
How many times have you had a textbook that didn’t quite hit the mark, but it was the closest thing available? Or maybe you have had to adapt your topic to suit a particular textbook? Maybe the only textbook that has been written on your subject area focuses on America, or Europe? OERs can be adapted to be much more relevant to your students.
Inclusive: more voices and perspectives
Because OERs can be freely adapted, they can incorporate more culturally relevant and inclusive examples, language, and other content to be responsive to individual cohorts and communities. Content can be updated to eliminate bias and stereotypes, as well as include a wider range of voices than traditional learning materials.
Creative: student as contributors
The true power of OERs may be that they can lead to open pedagogy, where instead of writing “disposable” assignments, students contribute to the development or adaptation of OERs themselves. This might be contributing to a Wikipedia article, or adding to an OER already being used in their topic.
Library staff can assist with selecting appropriate open educational resources for your topic.
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