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About Open Berea

What are Open Educational Resources?

According to OER Commons, "Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost, and without needing to ask permission. Unlike copyrighted resources, OER have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights.

In some cases, that means you can download a resource and share it with colleagues and students. In other cases, you may be able to download a resource, edit it in some way, and then re-post it as a remixed work. How do you know your options? OER often have a Creative Commons license or other permission to let you know how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared. You can always check the parameters of the Creative Commons License by looking up the license type.

The worldwide OER movement is rooted in the human right to access high-quality education. This shift in educational practice is not just about cost savings and easy access to openly licensed content; it’s about participation and co-creation. Open Educational Resources (OER) offer opportunities for systemic change in teaching and learning content through engaging educators in new participatory processes and effective technologies for engaging with learning." (OER Commons, 2020)

OER is also a valid option when considering financial strain on students and how that financial strain can affect the success and retention of the student body. Consider the amount of students who perform poorly in classes because they did not have the funds to access the textbook for the class or perhaps a student who drops out altogether due to inaccessibility of funds for textbooks. This can easily be remedied by choosing a textbook that is an open educational resource and therefore free. Many sites, such as OpenStax, even offer the student the ability to print the book at a low cost if they are more tactile learners. 

Benefits of OER

  • Affordability 
    • students appreciate the potentially significant cost savings associated with using OER materials in place of traditional textbooks.
  • Diversity
    • students can gain better perspective on a topic by using multiple sources rather than one text.
  • Flexibility
    • OER can be revised and remixed to meet specific course goals.
  • Academic performance
    • several case studies have shown no significant difference in student performance when using OER instead of traditional textbooks. Usually the results are favorable to OER.
    • supports student success, since they have equal and immediate access.
  • Usability
    • students can choose to access OER materials on a variety of devices and locations.
  • Up-to-date content
    • OER can be edited and updated more quickly than traditional textbooks.
  • Adaptability
    • professors can re-use and re-purpose material.

*Note: This information was reused and adapted from the East Stroudsburg University Kemp Library.


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