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Open Educational Resources (OER)

A guide for faculty to find OER & no-cost materials

Equity and OER

female college graduate with confetti#Equity  is about lifting people up, #Open  is about bringing barriers down. Both are about allowing everyone to participate.

-Nicole Allen, Director of Open Education for SPARC

  • Textbook costs should not be a barrier to education. The price of college textbooks increased 88%  from January 2006 to July 2016. If we take a longer look back, the increase is even more startling. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show a 1,041% percent increase from January 1977 to June 2015, which is over three times the rate of inflation. College students face steep price tags that can make the cost of learning higher than the cost of attending a college or university. Using OER solves this problem because the material is free online, affordable in print, and can be saved forever. 
  • Students learn more when they have access to quality materials. The rapidly rising cost of textbooks in higher education has left many students without access to the materials they need to succeed. Studies show  that 93% of students who use OER do as well or better than those using traditional materials, since they have easy access to the content starting day one of the course.
  • Openly licensed materials increase currency and relevancy. Imagine a science textbook that incorporates the latest results from a laboratory, or a math tutorial that incorporates local landmarks into word problems. This and more is possible when instructional materials are created to be shared and improved digitally and legally.
  • OER reduces equity gaps.