OER are educational materials that are specifically designed by their creator/s to be openly available, and are often licensed to be re-used, re-mixed, and re-distributed. Open is not just about low cost (though that is an important benefit of using OER) but about the ability to take what others have created, customize it for your specific educational needs, and then share your creation with others.
OER come in a variety of forms:
The open resource movement has been around for a while, starting with static learning objects (about 2000), and transitioning to OER that allowed for revision and reuse. It is the ever increasing cost of textbooks and materials for students that is now pushing the OER movement forward. Textbooks and learning materials cost students approximately $1,200 per year. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 in 10 students didn't purchase a textbook because it was too expensive. Through OER the cost of student materials can be drastically reduced. OER also give instructors the ability to customize the materials, creating the "perfect" textbook instead of being bound to traditional print resources.
The first step is finding OER, and that is what this guide is designed to do, so check out
SPECIAL NOTE: This page is specifically designed to introduce OER to the university community, but don't forget that there are electronic resources available to you through the University Libraries- UWF has licensed journals, databases, primary content, and ebooks. These resources are restricted to University faculty, staff and students (you have to use your Argonet log-in to access), and they do not allow for customization and re-use in the same way as OER. Though these are not "open", they are resources that you can make available at no cost for your students.