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OER: Open Educational Resources

A resource for CMCC faculty and staff who are interested in Open Educational Resources

Reuse remix revise graphic picture Open Educational Resources are any resource used in learning, teaching, and research that are free to use and come with legal permissions for their use.  Most importantly,

OER are free to students

The Consortium of Community College Open Educational Resources defines OER as “... educational materials that include permission for anyone to use, modify and share at no cost.”  According to The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation OER is defined as:  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.” https://www.hewlett.org/strategy/open-educational-resources/

Tidewater Community College was the first to develop a degree in which an entire associate's degree pathway, called a Z-Degree, can be achieved by taking courses using OER. The college has shared that students are using their cost savings for a number of things, including taking more courses. OER degrees emerged nationally in 2016 at 38 community colleges in 13 states with the launch of the OER Degree Initiative by Achieving the Dream 

Creative Commons Copyright allows authors to create works that allow for others to copy, distribute and use those works.   Creative Commons Copyright is what makes OER possible. There are six main licenses that authors can choose from when publishing with a Creative Commons license. For example, the CC BY-NC 4.0 License  allows users to share and adapt a work if appropriate credit is given and if its for noncommercial use.   https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-types-examples/  The Creative Commons website has more information http://us.creativecommons.org/

OpenStax is just one example of an open education resource publisher. The Rice University-based publisher has made peer reviewed open texts available to over 11,000 faculty at over 4,200 institutions since 2012. OpenStax has saved 3.5 million students over $340 million.  https://openstax.org/blog/nearly-15-million-college-students-use-free-textbooks‚Äč 

Why Supporting OER Is a Smart Decision

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