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Open Educational Resources: Home

What & Why?

‚ÄčOpen Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials that have been released under intellectual property licenses that allows for both their free and open use and repurposing by others. OER can include course materials, textbooks, streaming videos, and any other resource that can be used to support open access to knowledge.

Open Educational Resources are created with the knowledge that they will be reused, remixed, and openly distributed, because of this there may be one or more freely available resources that may fit the educational needs of your students. The purpose of this guide is to help connect you and your students to there resources.

Creative Commons and Copyright

The Creative Commons was developed as a response to restrictive copyright licenses. Movies, books, music, and other creative works could typically not be shared with other consumers legally, although illegal sharing was common. To stop illegal file sharing, media end-user licensing agreements became more and more restrictive. Some artists wanted to promote a license that established fewer restrictions, so they could build on each other's work. The traditional alternative, releasing a work into the public domain, was not acceptable to these artists. A public domain work could be used by a business to develop a new work that was subject to a restrictive copyright agreement, and the original artist might not receive credit for his work.

Top Resources for Locating Open Textbooks

State of Colorado OER Initiative

The State of Colorado has created an OER Council that has been tasked with creating a report advocating for funding for and providing recommendations on expanding the adoption of OERs in public institutions of higher education.

Researchers from WCET have been hired to perform an environmental scan of the OER landscape in Colorado. Two surveys will be sent out asking for input on OERs.

  1. an institutional survey will be sent to the Chief Academic Officers of each campus, each CU provost should be receiving this survey.
  2. a stakeholder survey will be sent to faculty, librarians, students, student governments, IT staff, CIOs, book store directors, etc.

The WCET researchers will also be working with the OER Council to develop the recommendations in the report. Initial discussions have included these potential recommendations.

  1. Concentrate on encouraging the use of OERs in 100-200 level courses and high enrollment courses.
  2. Each campus should have an OER Council