Open educational resources (OER) are any learning or teaching resources that are available at little or no cost. These can include textbooks, course readings, course syllabi, multimedia, games, assessment tools, or any other material that can be used for educational purposes. The video below from the Noun Project offers a good summary.
Why Open Educational Resources?
They are free or low cost to students -- studies show lowering textbook costs for students increases the likelihood of student success.
They allow customization, remixing, and the ability for instructors to be more involved with their course content
They often include accompanying materials, such as multimedia, lecture slides, and more
You can involve your students in the creation of ancillary materials, quiz banks, and other learning tools, which deepens the engagement students have with the course content
Because OER is freely available online, students can return to it as much as they choose to, enabling the possibilities of life-long learning
The video below, from Lumen Learning -a commercial education company that creates courses using OERs, provides additional insight about the benefits of OERs to students. Participants are from higher education institutions who were involved in the Kaleidoscope Project -- a project funded by a grant from the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC).
The Open Education program at Creative Commons works to minimize barriers to effective education, supporting the CC mission through education, training, advocacy and outreach on using open licenses and open policies to maximize the benefits of open education (content, practices and policy). Our work spans all levels of education (primary – secondary – tertiary and vocational) and sectors of industry (non-profit – corporate – government).~from the website
The Foundation supplies grants to institutions creating and promoting open education, specifically OERs. Browse their grant recipients to learn about new efforts and possible resources available for use.