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Open Educational Resources: Open Educational Resources Overview

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost. Unlike fixed, copyrighted resources, OER have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights (OER Commons, CC BY-SA).

Instruction & Engagement Librarian

Why Open Educational Resources?

According to the 2016 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey by the Florida Virtual Campus, more than half (53.2%) of students spent more than $300 on textbooks during the spring 2016 term, and 17.9% spent more than $500. It was also found that 66.6% of students did not purchase the required textbook. Meanwhile, the cost of textbooks has increased dramatically.

Through Open Educational Resources (OER) the cost of student materials can be drastically reduced.  OER also give instructors the ability to customize the materials, creating the "perfect" textbook instead of being bound to traditional print resources. For more information see SPARC: Open Education.

Graph: United States Government Accountability Office. (2013). Figure 1: Estimated increases in new college textbook prices, college tuition and fees, and overall consumer price inflation, 2002 to 2012 [Graph]. In College textbooks: Students have greater access to textbook information. Washington DC. Retrieved from

OER  Allow Educators To:

Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
Reuse - the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

OER Studies and Further Reading


Florida Textbook Affordability Initiatives