How did we get this far into the blog without a post dedicated solely to OER?
OER stands for Open Educational Resources – which are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use. Generally, this permission is granted by use of an open license (for example, Creative Commons licenses) which allows anyone to freely use, adapt and share the resource—anytime, anywhere. “Open” permissions are typically defined in terms of the “5R’s”: users are free to Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute these educational materials (taken from https://sparcopen.org/open-education/).
Last October during Open Access Week 2019, the Scholars Lab did a survey to find out how much students spent on textbooks for the current semester – you can see the results below. While we didn’t get a ton of responses, you can see that the majority of responders (two-thirds) spent at least $100-300, and one-fifth of participants spent over $300 on textbooks.
To some, this may not seem like an unreasonable amount of money for textbooks, but studies are showing that more and more students are opting out of buying textbooks altogether and trying to complete their courses without the proper resources they need for their studies. You can learn more by going here or watching the video below.