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Open Educational Resources

Information about RVCC's OER and no-cost course initiative to inform faculty and students

Curate Free Materials

At times, all of the resources you would like to assign for a class may not be "open" in the purest sense. In other words, they might not be completely free of copyright restrictions or cost. Examples of resources that can be free for your students but are not "open" in the strictest sense include:

  • Content from proprietary library databases
    • Instructors can link to content in databases using a link that requires the student to authenticate ("log in") to the database. These links can be provided to faculty by librarians, or are sometimes available on the articles themselves as "permalinks."
  • eBooks available through the library
    • The library subscribes to eBook collections and many allow for unlimited, simultaneous users. Like a research database, the library pays the cost of the eBook to make it freely available for students using their institutional login. Faculty should check with a librarian if there is a limit on the number of simultaneous users to avoid students being "bounced" from a resource because the limit has been met. 
  • Copyrighted material on websites
    • Although freely available, a lot of online articles are copyrighted by the author or publisher. You can provide links to copyrighted material online for your students to access. 

**A note about Fair Use

Although Fair Use guidelines enable faculty to use copyrighted material for educational purposes in their class under certain conditions, these guidelines generally do not permit faculty to change the format of a material (i.e. make a digitized version or a print material) or to widely distribute copyrighted materials in their entirety. When in doubt, linking to a material online is the safest option, but librarians can work with you to determine the extent to which you can use copyrighted materials in a course. 

Curated Composition Resources

The following is a (completely hypothetical) example of free-to-student, curated resources for use in a composition course. This example is to demonstrate how a combination of OER, online copyrighted materials, and library resources can be curated to develop a set of educational materials for a course. (This is example is not used in any actual courses and is for demonstration purposes only.)

Open Textbook

This course uses an open textbook, Writing in College: From Competence to Excellence, for the basis of most of the coursework. This textbook can be freely accessed online from the link below. You can read the book online, download a PDF so that you have access to it off-line or can print your own copy, or you can purchase a print copy from the website for about $10. Refer to the Timeline in WebStudy for the chapters that will be assigned each week. 

Assigned Articles

Throughout the semester, we will be reading published essays as examples of the types of writing that you learn about in Writing in College. These essays are all available online. If you prefer to read articles in print, printing is available in the library or the open computer labs on campus. Below are the articles we will be reading this semester. Refer to the Timeline in WebStudy for exact due dates for these readings. 

Scholarly (Peer-reviewed) Articles

This semester, you will learn what scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles are and why they are important to the academic conversations we will be having in class. We will examine and dissect examples of scholarly articles so that you are better prepared to read, annotate, and use these types of sources in research assignments. For your final out-of-class essay, you will be expected to include at least one scholarly article as a source. (These links will require you to login to the Evelyn S. Field Library databases with your G# and password.)

Citation Resources

You will use MLA 8th edition citation style for all writing assignments in this course. Refer to the following resources for help with MLA citation.