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Open Educational Resources (OER): Why Adopt Open Educational Resources?

Why consider Open Educational Resources for Students?

One of the difficulties students consistently encounter is the high cost of textbooks. Access to textbooks defines students' success or failure in college. According to SPARC, “Our educational systems are built with the goal of providing every person the opportunity to build a better life—by turning children into citizens, learners into teachers, laborers into skilled workers” (SAPRC, 2018). Adopting Open Education Resources (OER) is one way to ensure students are afforded an equal opportunity to knowledge production, a sure way to an informed future generation. 

Open Educational Resources are vital for various reasons. Here are some factors why faculty should consider adopting OER as an option for students' resources. Some of these examples are listed in Abbey K. Elder's "Introduction to Open Educational Resources." 

Use, Improve, and Share

  • Easily create or adapt an existing OER without any stringent copyright restrictions.
  • Adapt and revise resources that have already been created to fit your course syllabus.
  • Flexibility to create an updated second edition of an existing OER.
  • Tailor resources to fit your specific course context (e.g., translation, local examples).

Network and Collaborate with Peers

  • Access educational resources that have been peer-reviewed by experts in your field.
  • Create a new open educational resource with a team of your peers.
  • Explore user reviews for a more in-depth understanding of the resources available.
  • Reconstruct the traditional textbook terrain by empowering students to contribute to the content creation process.

Lower Costs to Improve Access to Information

  • Enable all students to have equal access to your course materials.
  • Allow students access to information and knowledge without cost barriers.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to explore course content before enrolling.

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