Open Educational Resources

Faculty Resources

Open educational resources offerings have grown significantly over the last several years. Choosing the right materials can be a challenge in itself and add to that resources that are more or less “open”. Open is defined as free from email updates, surveys or other less subtle forms of advertising that fund some sources. An open textbook is considered an open-licensed text offered online by its author. The text can be read online, downloaded or printed at no cost. Minimum rights usually allow users to use the text without compensating the author, copy the text with appropriate credit to the author, distribute the textbook non-commercially and shift the text into another format. Many authors will allow content to be added, removed or altered.

There are a growing number of open textbooks available online for faculty to use. Selection can be difficult as there is limited availability of high quality and comprehensive learning materials in some disciplines.

One of the true benefits of using an open textbook is the faculty can edit the materials to meet their specific course needs. It provides opportunities to share learning materials for local use. Students can provide instant feedback on the information that can facilitate continual improvement.

Open educational resources are not exclusive to textbooks and course materials. They can and do include various software and/or web-based learning tools that is free that can assist in providing learning style assistance or create collaborative learning environments.

Are you ready to get started with OER?

  • Start here with this OER Faculty Workshop MOOC created by a Maricopa Faculty member that also explains Creative Commons licensing.
  • Several OER courses have been developed through the Maricopa Millions Project and are available for you to remix, reuse, and redistribute. Search Canvas Commons with tag "MMOER" to access these OER Courses.

The information here will assist you in learning more about open education resources, how to select course resources right for your students and use some of the free tools available.