3 Why Would Faculty Use OER?

3. The Big Picture: Why do educators use OER?

Please watch the following short video to hear from a variety of teachers who use OER in their classrooms.

There are many reasons to use OER. Here are just a few:

  • Affordable – students save money
  • Flexible – redistribute and reuse content
  • Customizable – revise and remix
  • Up to date – add the latest research, events, information
  • Accessible – can be more accessible than print copies
  • Beneficial to all – knowledge can be freely and widely distributed around the world

Here is some more detailed information from SPARC :

Textbook costs should not be a barrier to education. The price of textbooks has skyrocketed (Links to an external site.) more than three times the rate of inflation for decades. College students face steep price tags that can top $200 per book, and K-12 schools use books many years out of date because they are too expensive to replace. Using OER solves this problem because the material is free online, affordable in print, and can be saved forever. Resources that would otherwise go to purchasing textbooks can be redirected toward technology, improving instruction, or reducing debt.

Students learn more when they have access to quality materials. The rapidly rising cost of textbooks in higher education has left many students without access to the materials they need to succeed. Studies show (Links to an external site.) that 93% of students who use OER do as well or better than those using traditional materials, since they have easy access to the content starting day one of the course.

Technology holds boundless potential to improve teaching and learning. Open Education ensures that teachers, learners and institutions can fully explore this potential. Imagine an American History textbook with the latest news from the 2016 election, or a math tutorial that incorporates local landmarks into word problems. Imagine a lecture attended by hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, or a peer-to-peer exchange between Canadian students learning Mandarin with Chinese students learning English. All of this and more is possible when the pathways for technology in education are fully open.

Better education means a better future. Education is the key to advancing society’s greatest goals, from a building a strong economy to leading healthy lives. By increasing access to education and creating a platform for more effective teaching and learning, Open Education benefits us all.


Adapted from OER Commons & Open Education , Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License

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OER Subject Librarian Toolkit Copyright © by Jennifer Beamer. All Rights Reserved.

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