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Publishing, Scholarly Communication, and Open Access: Open Education Resources

What are Open Education Resources (OER)?

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an instructor, student, or self-learner. Examples of OER include: full courses, course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.” - OER Commons

OER Resources allow users to:

  • Retain -- users have the right to make, archive, and own copies of the content
  • Reuse -- content can be reused in its unaltered form
  • Revise -- content can be adapted, adjusted, modified, and altered
  • Remix -- original or revised content can be combined with other content to create something new
  • Redistribute -- copies of the content can be shared with others in its original, revised or remixed form.

OER resources are free to access online, free to share, free to re-use, and typically are share under a Creative Commons License, allowing others to copy, distribute, or revise the OERs for their own purposes.

Why Open Education Resources? The issues:

  • College textbook prices have increased 812% since 1978. The Consumer Price Index has increased 250% during this time. (Perry, 2012) (1)
  • The average student in the U.S. spends $1100 to $1200 annually on textbooks. (2)
  • Because of high textbook costs (3)
    • 64% of students didn't purchase a textbook because of cost 
    • 45% of students didn't register for a course
    • 49% took fewer courses
    • 27% dropped a course 
    • 21% withdrew from a course
    • 17% failed a course


1) Perry, M. J. (2012, December 24.) The college textbook bubble and how the open educational resources movement is going up against the textbook cartel.

2) College Board. (2013). Quick guide: college costs.

3) Florida Student Textbook Survey (2018)

David Wiley on Open Education and the Future

David Wiley speaking at TEDxNYED on March 6, 2010.