OER in the Time of COVID-19

Icons related to online learning.
Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay

As colleges prepare for an uncertain fall semester, faculty are learning new skills and discovering new technologies for online and hybrid teaching. Open Educational Resources, OER, are a tool that faculty should consider adopting for a variety of reasons. Below are some highlights: 

1) OER are free for students. As the economy struggles in the wake of the COVID pandemic, many students are facing additional financial burdens. Providing students with free textbooks is a positive step that faculty and colleges can take to make the fall semester more affordable.  

2) Many, if not most, OER are available online. In March of this year, many students were given a short time period to vacate their dorm and move home while others were already on spring break and were unable to return to collect their belongings. In both of these situations, many students found themselves separating from their textbooks. Providing a free, online version of a textbook means that students will have access regardless of where they physically are in the country.  

3) OER are openly licensed so that faculty can tailor them to their course. If a faculty member cannot find the perfect OER text, they can piece together chapters from other OER texts to meet the needs of their course. Additionally, faculty can make edits and improvements to OER texts and send them to their students without having to ask permission of the authors.  

Here on the Anschutz Medical Campus, we have a curated list of health sciences OER available on the library website. We encourage you to check it out and contact the library if you have questions or would like help in finding OER.  

This was written by Ellie, you can contact AskUs with questions.