Open Educational Resources (OER)

What are Open Educational Resources?

As the name implies, Open Educational Resources are study materials that have been developed by others and that are openly available online. Videos, images, lectures, text books, handouts, and even entire university courses.

How does using OER work?

OER is a wonderful source of course materials. Depending on the Creative Commons (CC) copyright license the materials have been made available under, you can share them, download them, mix them with other materials or adapt them to your own purposes.

Why would I want to use OER?

Do any of the following points apply? Then you should take a look at OER!

  • I want to implement a flipped classroom but do not have the time to create my own videos and handouts
  • I want to offer my course completely online, for students who are unable to attend it live
  • I want to offer more variety in my course materials to serve different learning styles
  • I want to reduce the number of face-to-face lecture hours in my course
  • I want to better schedule my workload by preparing courses more in advance

How do I effectively use OER?

The crux with using OER is finding good materials and using them well. Here are some tips for you.

  1. Keep your goal in mind. There are many ways you can employ OER, but the goal should always be to create a better learning experience for your students.
  2. Consider how OER will fit into your course design. A combination of media types – audio, video, images, handouts – makes it easier for students to understand difficult concepts. Everything in the ‘blend’ needs to contribute to the quality of the course.
  3. Invest in really good course materials. Not everything you find is good enough.

Getting started with OER

Have you ever sent your students a link to a YouTube video or an online handout? Then you are already using OER. Teacher Support can help you think through your course design, the tools you want to use and the best mix of materials for your situation and goals. We can also help you with applying for funds, for instance to pay a student assistant to help you in your search for good materials.