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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Information about OERs and resources for finding and using them in your classroom.

Evaluate

Some OER platforms such as OpenStax have built-in faculty review processes to ensure the materials are high quality, while others do not.  The following resources will help you judge resources for relevance, accuracy, production quality, accessibility, interactivity, and licensing. 

Adopt

Provide Digital Access

  • When possible, provide a direct link to the original materials. This allows students to view it online or download it to their devices for offline access. They may also be able to print and bind the items if they desire (a coil binding machine is available in the library for $5 a coil).

Provide Print Access

  • Some students prefer print. Low-cost printing options are available in some OER platforms. The bookstore can issue print copies of digital materials for a small printing fee.  

Additional Resources

Adapt

Modify or Remix

Once you find textbooks and other content to use in your course, you may want to modify that content to fit your learning outcomes and the specific needs of your students. For example, you may wish to localize examples, add something new like a video, or adapt the content to match the learning styles of your class. 

  • Larger OER platforms such as OER Commons and Pressbooks have built in features that allow you to easily remix and modify the content you find within their sites. Each platform provides tutorials and help for completing this process. 
  • Smaller DIY OERs will present some challenges to that process. Consider the following when modifying and remixing open content. 
    • If you are remixing several OER which were published under different licenses, you will need to consider compatibility of licenses.
    • You may be faced with a variety of file formats.  "Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know" is a great resource for this issue.  
    • When adding in outside content, be sure to pay attention to copyright & fair use and seek necessary permissions by content creators.
    • Always give attribution (see below).

Attribution

Each OER you modify, remix, or use portions of must be properly attributed. The Creative Commons license requires attribution as one of their terms. CC attribution states "You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in a any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or  your use." The Creative Commons Wiki has more on best practices for attribution. Try the Attribution Builder created by Open Washington.

The ideal attribution contains: Title, Author, License and modification.  Each part should be hyperlinked when possible. For example: 

"Title" by Author is licensed under CC BY 4.0 / Modification made. 

Stories from Faculty

Attribution

This material was adapted from Use OER by Portland State University Library.