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Open Educational Resources (OER): Open Educational Resource (OER) Guide

This guide provides information to instructors on Open Educational Resources: What they are, how they can be of benefit, and how to find them.

About Open Educational Resources (OERs)

What is an Open Educational Resources (OER)?

UNESCO defines OERs as 'teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with intellectual property licenses that facilitate the free use, adaptation and distribution of resources.' To read more about UNESCO's work related to OER advocacy visit UNESCO Open Educational Resources

What are the benefits of using OERs in my course/curriculum?

The use of OERs in your course and curriculum can:

  • save students money, thereby making college more affordable and encouraging access to course materials.
  • enable greater representation of diverse perspectives through creation or adoption of resources not typically found in textbooks.
  • lead to greater student success through improved learning outcomes

See 'Readings and Research on OER' below to review selected studies.

How can the library support my use of OERS at Clark?

The library can assist you with identifying appropriate OERs for your course and can build a course guide for you than may be integrated into Moodle. Please contact library@clarku.edu or visit Goddard Library Online Help to ask a question or request a consultation with a librarian.

What are some examples of how I might use an OER in my course?

A Course Using Classic Literature or Primary Sources

When assigning classic literature an instructor might provide a link to a source in Archive.org along with links to scholarly articles on the work that are available digitally through Clark Libraries. 

A STEM Course

an instructor may use an OER that shows representation of members of underrepresented groups in order to make course content relatable to a more diverse student population.

An American History Course

In a course focused on the history of the United States a faculty member may require readings from The American Yawp and link it through a Moodle site so that student will have easy and free access to a text that is continuously updated by scholars.

A Business Ethics Course

An instructor may opt to use an OpenStax version of a textbook rather than requiring students to purchase a textbook. The OpenStax version of Business Ethics can be easily embedded in Moodle.

Find and/or contribute OERs for course use

Find books and textbooks

Search various OER collections