How can Open Educational Resources help me and my students?

The costs associated with education at all levels continue to rise, typically at rates higher than inflation. We know that as an instructor you work hard to select textbooks and other educational resources that balance the efficient use of your time, the best pedagogy, and affordability to students. The library is here to help you be informed about your options and to work with you in providing the best possible education for your students while lowering as many barriers as you can. Students benefit when cost is not a barrier to access required course materials or when they are faced with possibly choosing between buying textbooks and buying food. Faculty benefit when all students are able to complete required readings or other exercises and can come to class prepared to engage.

Open educational resources are any educational resources that are made available to end users at no cost, with open textbooks a prominent example of such. Several projects have emerged, in Canada and elsewhere, to promote the development and use of free high-quality textbooks to help students save money. Many of these freely share their textbooks and other educational resources online. A few local and some of the better known international ones are:

  • Open Education Resources (OER), a LibGuide from the University of Regina.
  • LibreTexts, a multi-institutional developer of open access resources.
  • Merlot, a partnership of various systems and institutions of higher education led by California State University.
  • OER Commons, a non-profit providing resources for all levels of education.
  • OpenED, from BCcampus, the Government of British Columbia has provided funding for the development of high-quality textbooks in the most highly-enrolled subject areas in the province.
  • OpenStax CNX, from Rice University.
  • OpenStax College, from Rice University.
  • Open Textbook Library, a curated collection compiled by eCampus Ontario.
  • Press Books

Trying to better understand the how and why of OER? On October 20, 2017, Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani made two presentations to the campus community about open education practices and resources. We encourage you to watch the two video recordings of these presentations.

Serving Social Justice and Pedagogical Innovation with Open Education Practices
Open Educational Resources --Access, Equity, and Student Success