Open Educational Resources: What are they and how to get started

Recently, FIU announced a partnership with OpenStax, a provider of openly licensed textbooks. OpenStax will be providing FIU and 10 other institutions guidance and best practices for OER implementation throughout our campuses.

So what exactly are OERs or open educational resources and how can you get started?

What is OER?

Open Educational Resources are materials that have had an open license applied to them. These materials could be much more than just a textbook. These could be a single unit, a worksheet, an interactive activity; basically, anything that helps with teaching and learning.

OER’s don’t always have to remain in digital formats; most of the time, these can be printed out for a very low cost and given to the students.

OER’s also includes materials that are in the public domain. These could be photos from NASA to reports published by the government and even things like bills and laws.  

What truly makes an OER an OER are the Five R’s…

The Five R’s of OER’s

OER’s are different from traditionally published resources because the license they carry allow adaptations to be made to materials.

True OER’s carry the following permissions:

Reuse: take a resource and use it in any context you want

Remix: take multiple resources and mix them together to create a new resource

Revise: make a copy of the resource and change it to the local context

Retain: keep a copy and control a resource forever

Redistribute: freely share whatever you’ve created

OpenStax Books and Content

All OpenStax books, currently over 30 titles, and other OpenStax learning resources are true OER materials. They are openly licensed, peer-reviewed and completely free to use. Meaning students will pay $0.00 for using their books!

Here’s an overview of OpenStax:

Here are some testimonials from faculty who have adopted OpenStax books all across the nation:

Other OER Materials & Affordability Counts

Of course, there are thousands of other OER materials out there besides those offered via OpenStax and the Affordability Counts group is ready to assist in helping you find those materials. We can help you transition from using expensive course materials to low-cost or completely free course materials.

Reach out today via lowcost@fiu.edu or via our form and we will be glad to assist in any way we can.

Resources:

About Gus Roque

Educational Technology Manager for FIU Online.

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