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OERs at KCC: What is OER?

Faculty Guide

What are Open Educational Resources (OERs)?

OERs are free, re-mixable, shareable educational tools, such as textbooks and lesson plans, that faculty can adapt as they see fit. OERs’ accelerating spread across the academy is driven by licenses that permit re-use, re-production and adaptation of these tools by anyone.

  • For faculty, the benefits include unlimited flexibility in designing a text, time saved by adopting existing work, and the opportunity to contribute to open and free platforms.
  • For our students, OERs are free textbooks that offer huge savings when compared to traditional textbooks.

The following are the 5 attributes of OERs 

Interested in learning more about OERs? Here are some suggested resources:


  • can take more courses and finish faster
  • will have materials on the first day
  • benefit from “localization” or customized materials
  • get to keep their learning materials
  • less debt

OER Evidence Report 2013-2014 by OERRH

  • A quality alternative to commercial textbooks
  • Students have the materials on the first day
  • More diverse content and Customizable
  • Free and low cost
  • Lower drop rates and Higher grades
  • Convenience of use
  • Increased collaboration
  • “Owning” the content

OER Evidence Report 2013-2014 by OERRH

Faculty stories from Open Education 2014 Conference

Chae and Jenkins, 2014. A Qualitative Investigation of Faculty Open Educational Resource Usage in the Washington Community and Technical College System: Models for Support and Implementation

  • Time to find or create
  • Concern about quality
  • Concern about departmental support
  • Learning curve to incorporate OER into curriculum
  • Confusion about copyright and licensing
  • Using technology
  • Does this take more time than normal class prep and, if it takes more, how can we or the college afford it?