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Affordable Learning Resource Guide

A guide to help instructors learn about, find, evaluate, and adopt affordable learning materials for their courses.

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER), which are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use.* They include a multitude of formats, including textbooks, full courses, modules, videos, labs, assignments, and assessments.

What makes them "Open"?

OERs are licensed in such a way that enables adopters to utilize the 5 Rs:

  1. Retain a copy of the content
  2. Reuse the content in a range of ways
  3. Revise the content as needed
  4. Remix original or revised content with other material
  5. Redistribute the original, revisions, and remixes with others

Creative Commons licenses are often applied to OERs to license these rights to adopters.

Why do OERs matter?

  • Students save money: The average public two-year college student spends $1,420 on textbooks and supplies.*
  • Pedagogical freedom: Faculty can add, remove, and modify content to fit their classroom rather than having an expensive textbook dictate topics and order.
  • Immediate and lasting accessResources can be accessed immediately, retained, and returned to again and again.

*College Board, Trends in College Pricing, Average Estimated Undergraduate Budgets, 2017


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