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Open Educational Resources (Affrodable Textbooks): Getting Started

Benefits of OER

-first and perhaps the most obvious is it affordabiltity

                it saves them money … there is no cost

-second is access

  • there is nothing to buy, and no access codes to navigate
  • most include multiple formats for the student to choose their favorite whether it is print, online, or downloading to an ereader.
  • students retain access in perpetuity

- OER also address equity

  • These resources can be easily manipulated for people who may have special needs, and examples can be adapted to reflect and be more relevant to the specific student population.  
  • the number and variety of OER mean that there is a greater diversity in perspective and representation of voices who have created the resources

And the benefits for faculty?

  • You can have the expectation that ll your students have the materials they need
  • you can start small and add on as you go
  • resources are updated more frequently and easily.
  • goodwill of the students
  • teaching and pedagogical innovation.  resources employ active learning, experimentation with new techniques.
  • Remixing OER means that you can curate the perfect resource.  That directly relates to your learning objectives and thus exercise more academic freedom 
  • whether adopt, adapt, or create – making connections and enriching the scholarship in discipline.


What are Open Educational Resources (OER)

What are OER?

According to SPARC's Open Education initiative, OER are "teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use."  OER can be print or digital, texts, games, syllabi, lesson plans, course assignments, anything you use as a teaching resource in your class.  

Introductory Video

Textbook Costs at a Glance

The cost of college textbooks has increased 88% over the past decade, far outpacing the rate of inflation (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). When faced with high textbook costs (on top of tuition and fees), up to two thirds of students simply do not purchase all their required textbooks (Florida Virtual Campus, 2019). Access to required textbooks is essential to every student’s academic success; by removing cost barriers to a student’s full participation in the academic experience, we can improve learning, achievement, and retention across WKU.



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Todd Seguin
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Helm Commons 2020