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Open Educational Resources


How to Use This Guide

This guide is intended for instructors at the University of Texas and anyone interested in learning more about finding or creating Open Educational Resources (OER). Use the tabs on the left to get information on finding, selecting, remixing, and creating OER. 

What is OER?

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) defines Open Educational Resources (OERs) as teaching, learning and research resources released under an open license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OERs can be textbooks, full courses, lesson plans, videos, tests, software, or any other tool, material, or technique that supports access to knowledge. The open permissions for OERs are sometimes called the 5Rs - users are free to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute.

Why OER?

Required materials, like textbooks, can represent a significant cost to students. Textbook prices have increased over 1,000% since 1977, or more than 3 times the rate of inflation (Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 2015). 

According to research on open textbook pilots conducted by Student PIRGs (Open Textbooks: the Billion Dollar Solution, 2015): 

  • Students save an average of $128 per course when traditional textbooks are replaced with open textbooks
  • 65% of students have declined to obtain a required textbook because they were too expensive

Instructors can directly influence the cost of education for their students by adopting low- or no-cost course materials. 

Need help with OER?

Colleen Lyon's picture
Colleen Lyon

About this Guide

This guide was compiled by Ashley Morrison, Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Texas Libraries and graduate student in the School of Information, as part of a capstone research project. 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.