Brief Introduction to OERs
At the heart of the open movement lie two central ideas:
- Publicly-funded knowledge and knowledge products should be made freely available to the public.
- Coordinated peer production is a powerful way to create quality products for education.
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are typically developed by publically-funded educators, who contribute their creations into the public domain using an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation.
The research shows that OERs not only reduce student debt, they also (when used appropriately in a course) improve student learning.