Despite the rise of innovative new instructional technologies, for the average student and teacher, educational materials remain limited by high costs, copyright regulations, and technological barriers. Books and supplies were estimated to cost IU Bloomington students $1032 for the 2017-2018 academic year. This impacts students' learning: a national survey found that 65% of students will avoid buying expensive textbooks, even if they know their academic progress will suffer as a result. OER offer a solution to these issues, providing accessible content for students and increasing engagement in classrooms.
Affordable course content, like OER, works to make educational materials more financially accessible to students. Unlike OER, however, affordable content is not always free or open. "Affordable" refers to a wide variety of ways in which the cost of the content is reduced for students. Some examples include affordable eTexts or library licensed materials. Both are important for helping increase access so selecting which to use depends on the course you're teaching and the material available.
An essential part of finding quality OER is ensuring that the content is relevant to your course objectives, up to date, and properly edited and maintained. Be sure to check out the IU Libraries guide for evaluating OER for a step by step guide.
In order for a resource to be considered open, it must be shared under a Creative Commons license, often allowing others do the following:
IU Libraries staff can help you understand what the license enables you to do in your course.
This guide was partially created by Jenny Hoops, Margaret McLaughlin, and Alexis Murrell.