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Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources Guide - Locate educational resources for free use and re-purposing.

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Welcome to the NCU Library Guide for Open Educational Resources.

Illustration of a blue left facing arrow : Free Stock Photo   Use the menu on the left to navigate through this guide. 

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

"OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge." [1]

The Open Education movement is built around the 5Rs of Openness: [2]

  • Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  • Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  • Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

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:

  • Primary sources - Images, video, and sound recordings.  Some sources are in the public domain, while others have been licensed as open by their creators.   In addition, many texts that are in the public domain are available online/electronically.
  • Learning content - created content that ranges from individual lectures, animations, and assessments to complete courses and textbooks.  

Why OER?

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 gives instructors the ability to customize the materials, creating the "perfect" textbook instead of being bound to traditional print resources. 

How To Get Started

The first step is finding OER, and that is what this guide is designed to do, so check out

  • Faculty Select, the only database designed to aggregately search OER as well as affordable DRM-free textbook options simultaneously.
  • the Open Textbooks Collection page will link you to repositories of open and free textbooks you can customize and adopt for your courses.
  • the Discovering OER section will help you navigate through some different sources for OER.
  • the OpenCourseWare area will introduce you to a movement focused on making educational course materials that have been created by faculty available outside of the institution.
  • the Subject Specific OER pages will provide OER options specific to NCU schools, programs, and specializations.

OER Explained

What is OER and why does it matter? Learn about Open Educational Resources and why they are important to the future of higher education. 

License

This page has been adapted from University of West Florida University Libraries Open Educational Resources

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