Open Education Resources are defined as free materials used for teaching and learning. In higher education, these include courseware, textbooks, digital sources, open access journals, and government documents.
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.
For more information, tutorials, and links to different types of OER collections, visit UWF's innovative guide on Open Education Resources
Many universities have followed MIT's lead and model for OCW. Course materials are freely accessible but no certificates or degrees are granted by the institution. The intent is to share knowledge and resources with all who interested in learning.
More information about Open Courseware is available at the Open Courseware Consortium site.
This is not a complete list, and this list will be periodically updated.