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OER Info

This page provides information about OER and its uses. It will link to useful videos, articles and websites that describe OER and its uses. And it includes a calendar of professional development events at CSU (and at other places -- for example, upcoming webinars and conferences).

History of OER

In their peer-reviewed article "A Brief History of Open Educational Resources," T.J. Bliss and M. Smith discuss the history and origins of Open Educational Resources. Check it out here (CC License By 4.0).

You can also read a refereed conference paper (2012 ALTC & OpenEd Conferences) by David Kernohan and Amber Thomas entitled "Open Educational Resources: A Historical Perspective" (CC License By S.A. 3.0). 

How OER is used

The Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources provides the 5R uses of OER, including how OER benefits classrooms. 

Learn more about the OER-Enabled Pedagogy Library that includes Wikipedia-based assignments through writing and editing, audiovisual remix projects, revising/remixing entire textbooks, students openly licensing materials they create for each other, and student involvement in curriculum design, along with additional ideas for OER-based assignments. 

In his presentation "Integrating Open Educational Resources into University Courses" David Wiley describes Open Educational Resources (OER), why they are promising and how to adopt them in order to significantly improve higher education affordability, student outcomes and breadth of impact (video source on YouTube)

How to create OER and combine licenses by the OGR Respository (video source on YouTube)

A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources by N. Butcher (available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese) 

What Research Says About OER

"Today, there's been about a dozen research studies that focus on the question: what happens to student learning when Open Educational Resources are substituted for traditional commercial products and across these dozens of studies, what researchers have found, multiple times, is that across whether it's community colleges, universities, even at the K-12 level, students perform as well or better when using OER than commercial textbooks." John Hilton III Brigham Young University

Click here for "The Review Project" on Open Educational Resources led by John Hilton III with contributions from Stacie Mason

Click here for the peer-reviewed article "Open educational resources and college textbook choices: a review of research on efficacy and perceptions" by John Hilton III

You can also find a multi-modal summary of Hilton's article "Open educational resources and college textbook choices: a review of research on efficacy and perceptions" (video source)

The 2017-2018 survey on teaching materials in U.S. higher education shows a steady growth in awareness of open educational resources (OER). Responses from over 4,000 faculty and department chairpersons paint a picture of steady improvement, with almost 50% of faculty now reporting OER awareness (Babson Survey Research Group). Click here for a link to the 2018 full report on National Higher Education. 

"OER: The Future of Education is Open" by Lisa Young, Una Daly, and Jason Stone on evaluating the need, awareness, motivation, research, impact, and future directions of OER

Colorado's OER Initiative was presented in January 2019, by Meg Brown-Sica (Assistant Dean for Collections and Scholarly Communication, CSU-Fort Collins), Spencer Ellis (Director of Educational Innovation, Colorado Department of Higher Education), Dr. Tina Parscal (Executive Director, Colorado Community Colleges Online), and Dr. Jonathan Poritz (Associate Professor, Math and Director of Center for Teaching and Learning, CSU-Pueblo / OER Council Chair). Their presentation includes what OER is, why it's important, Colorado's OER initiative, getting started with OER, institutional examples of OER in action, how to get involved, and the history of OER in Colorado's institutions of higher education (multi-modal slides)

Additionally, the Colorado Department of Higher Education provides useful information on their website, including research, resources, events, and webinars, on Open Educational Resources in the state of Colorado.

OER Research Guide at Colorado State University

The Colorado State University Library Research Guide for OER includes additional information about OER and ways to engage with adoption, accessibility, and modification of Open Educational Resources. 

How OER can Help Educators

 Provides teachers with a large amount of control over how curriculum is sequenced and where it's       drawn from.

 Allows teachers to have ownership over material, adapting it to their own classroom contexts.

 Teachers can expand their own professional learning by understanding the dynamics of material   creation, collaborating with educators, and having a powerful voice in the management of materials   that are used by students.

Teachers can share expertise with students, empowering their own classroom contexts.

 Provides teachers with control over the materials that are going to be useful for individual learners in   their classes.

 Teachers can contribute to a shift in course material costs for students.

There are opportunities to open curriculum and pedagogy by engaging students in content creation, bringing students into an expert role.

What Faculty is Saying about OER

Faculty have responded about the use of OER in their classrooms. Many have noticed the cost-savings for students, the accessible and interactive nature of OER textbooks, and the impact of reusing and remixing materials for their specific classroom contexts. 

Learn about what faculty are saying about using OpenStax College Textbooks (video source on YouTube)

Learn about what various faculty members in the state of Washington are saying about the use of open materials (multi-modal source)

What Students Are Saying about OER

Many higher education institutions and the Open Textbook Alliance (a nationwide coalition of student government leaders who are working to bring open textbooks to college campuses) have been inquiring about the textbook cost impact on students. OER is being used by institutions, in part, to address the financial impact on students. 

Learn about what students are saying about OER at Virgina Polytechnic Institute and State Universities

Learn about what students are saying about OER at Holyoke Community College 

OER and the Creative Commons License 

"The basic Creative Commons License is the CC By License or the Creative Commons Attribution License and all it says is you can use this work, this copyrighted thing, this photograph, this book, this song, if you attribute it to me, the creator." -- Meredith Jacob Creative Commons U.S. 

Click here for more information on Education and OER (Creative Commons) 

OER supported by UNESCO

OER is supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. UNESCO believes that OER can improve education across a variety of global contexts. OER provides free and legal access to a number of resources internationally. Additionally, they can be adapted to local linguistic and cultural classroom contexts for innovative educational purposes. 

Click here for a list of the latest publications on OER from UNESCO.

Additional Resources When Advocating for OER

Benefits of OER

Use the following resources to further understand what open education is, why it's beneficial, how you might use OER, and how you might talk with others about OER

The benefits of the Open Textbook Network

Making textbooks affordable for students

Abbey Elder provides a short introduction to the benefits of Open Educational Resources, including the licenses associated with resources (video source on YouTube)

T.J. Bliss provides an opinion article in EdSurge (topics of digital learning in higher education) on OER practice and the potential of open educational resources

On Access to Research through OER

Access to research is a student right

Adoption Impact of OER

An Interactive OER Adoption Impact Calculator, version 1.2 (2018) by D.A. Wiley 

The Future of Open Education

David Wiley, chief academic officer of Lumen Learning and OER scholar, provides a TEDx Ed Talk in New York on open education and the future (video source on YouTube)

Engaging in research on OER

The OER Research Toolkit contains several resources including a research guidebook. 

Click here for a bibliography of peer-reviewed articles on OER that relate to: understanding OER, educational impact (learning assessment, learning outcomes, extending education to distant learners, assessment of OER, etc.), cost-savings, faculty and student perceptions of OER (including user experience), institutional and program use, sustainable learning, and open textbooks and evaluation.

What's Happening Because of OER

In a 2017 Q&A, sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlitt Foundation, Education Officer T.J. Bliss discusses where we are in the OER story, what's happening at the higher education level, how teaching practice changes with OER, how policies and educational systems have changed, and more. 

Calendar of Professional Development Events Related to OER

More info soon