What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation defines open educational resources (OER) as “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”
Why Use OER?
To increase access to higher education.
By making sure that each course includes all of the course materials and resources that students need, we are putting all students on the same level. Each student has equal access to the same information, ensuring fairness and equality among all students enrolled in the OER course.
To make higher education more affordable.
By eliminating the burden of additional textbook costs for students, the actual cost of taking an OER course is reduced. Often, this is a significant reduction in cost which translates to considerable savings over time. This can result in much lower student debt, making attaining the Associate Degree easier and more valuable.
To increase student success at NOVA.
By giving all students in an OER course equal access, and removing the burden of additional expenses to those who can least afford them, students have a better chance of being successful in the course, continuing their enrollment, and achieving their academic goals.
Excerpt from the presentation description for The OER Trifecta: Access, Affordability and Student Success presented by Dr. Wm. Preston Davis for WCET, Nov 21, 2014.
The Open Education movement is built around the 5Rs of Open. These represent the gold standard in openness:
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