Open Educational Resources (OER) are open license and publicly available materials for education. As the Affordable College Textbook Act was introduced, a few OER projects were initiated and funded through the U.S. Department of Education. These materials are available for anyone to use. Some resources also allow users to improve and even redistribute the resources under a Creative Commons license.
OER have gained momentum with more funding opportunities in recent years. This growth is evident from Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources. Research has shown that there have been no differences in learning efficacy between OER and commercial textbooks. However, the withdrawal rate for courses using OER is significantly lower.1 Research at Triton College has shown that even a single program adopting OER saves their students over $200,000 a semester.
Many educators, from kindergarten to higher education, have been moving away from traditional textbooks and introducing different forms of free course materials in the classroom. Subsequently, the quality and usability of these contents have been gradually improved. It also further addresses digital accessibility.
The Waubonsee Community College Library also has a robust collection of digital OER resources available for use.
Interested in OER? Explore the resources below and press Get Started 📧 to be connected with faculty currently using OER and other college OER resources!
1Clinton, Virginia & Khan, Shafiq. (2019). Efficacy of Open Textbook Adoption on Learning Performance and Course Withdrawal Rates: A Meta-Analysis. AERA Open. 5. 233285841987221. 10.1177/2332858419872212.