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Open Educational Resources @MJC: Why OER?

This guide provides an overview of open educational resources (OER), Zero textbook cost courses, and gives you tools to help you find, create, and share these resources.

Those who use OER do so for a variety of reasons. Some believe every learner has the right to equal access to high-quality and effective educational materials. Some teachers appreciate the freedom from traditional content providers. For others, OER take worries about copyright out of the classroom and the sharing community.


 "Why OER?" by The Council of Chief State School Officers is licensed under CC BY 4.0


How can OER help educators?

 "How Can OER Help Educators" by The Council of Chief State School Officers is licensed under CC BY 4.0

OER empower educators to take ownership of their course content and better connect with students in localized environments. Benefits of OER include moving funds into other areas of critical need and transforming the way teachers engage with students. An open approach to the classroom also empowers students by allowing them to play a role in content creation.

Pedagogical Benefits of OER

  • First day access to course materials
  • The decentralization of knowledge
    • More instructor control
    • More diverse set of voices
    • More varied tones
  • Multimodal possibilities
    • Goes beyond text
  • Information Literacy
    • Models good information literacy practice for your students.
  • Continual Cycle of Content Improvement
    • Unlike textbooks and other static sources of information, OERs can be improved quickly through direct editing by users or through solicitation and incorporation of user feedback. Instructors can take an existing OER, adapt it for a class, and make the modified OER available for others to use.

Textbook Costs Are Insane

The graphic explains how textbooks are marketed and why prices continue to exponentially rise (click on image to expand).

College Textbook Shakedown Infographic