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Open Educational Resources (OER): About OER


Open educational resources logo graphic         

What is OER?
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are published under an open copyright license, frequently a Creative Commons license. These resources can exist in numerous formats including books, articles, websites, videos, images, and other types of digital or print materials.

This short video series covers the basics of OER including what it is, where to find it,
and how the licensing works. Produced by The Council of Chief State School Officers.

Why OER? 
The University of Wyoming Libraries seeks to support and encourage the adoption, adaptation, and creation of alternatives to traditional textbooks as an equitable means of increasing our students' access to high-quality learning materials. To be a part of this initiative, please consider applying for an Alt-Textbook Grant.

OER have the power to enhance flexibility for faculty and students, increase innovative pedagogy, and lower the cost of education.

At a Glance - Why OER?1

1) The price of instructional materials has skyrocketed. 
The cost of textbooks and other instructional materials has increased 72% since 2006. 2

2) Students make poor decisions when course materials are expensive. 
Students take fewer classes, avoid specific courses, and often do not buy the textbook despite knowing it will impact their grade. 3

3) Copying and sharing digital resources costs almost nothing. 
The cost associated with making a copy of a digital book is a fraction of a penny. It costs less than that to send it to a friend. 4

4) OER give students access to materials from day one forward. 
Students get access to materials immediately, and with permission to print, revise, and share the OER.

5) OER enable new methods and strategies for learning.
OER are legally-open materials that can be shared freely and adapted for use with varied audiences and teaching styles. 5



University of Hawaii Open Educational Resources

2 U.S. PIRG (2016). Covering the Cost. Retrieved from

3 Florida Virtual Campus (2016). 2016 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey. Retrieved from Florida Virtual Campus (2016). 2016 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey.

4 Wiley, David (2012). Beyond the Textbook: Information Futures. Retrieved from

Wiley, David (2015). Open Pedagogy: The Importance of Getting In the Air. Iterating Towards Openness. Retrieved from