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Open Educational Resources

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

Options for OER

In its purest for, "open educational resources" refer to materials that are free of cost and free of copyright restrictions. However, implementation of "OER" in a course could actually take many forms if your goal is primarily to reduce the cost of course materials for students. A distinction can be made between "open" materials - those which can be remixed, reused, and redistributed without restriction - and "free" materials - those which do not cost the student anything but might have copyright restrictions and/or be funded by the library/institution). For the purposes of these examples, the term OER will be used to refer to any materials that replace costly commercial textbooks.

OER implementation in a course could take the form of:

  • a single open textbook fully adopted as a replacement for a commercial textbook (Open Textbook example)
  • a "remix" of chapters and content from several different open textbooks, organized to create a customized open textbook (Remixed Textbook example)
  • a combination of open textbook chapters and other free, online materials (Open Curated Materials example)
  • a combination of free online materials and library subscription content (ebooks or articles accessed through the library's electronic resources) (Free Curated Materials example)

Apply the "Free and OER" message to your course's bookstore listing

Use Follett Discover - a tool available through Canvas - to automatically apply an OER message to your course's bookstore listing:

  1. Log in to Canvas and click the Follett Discover button from the main Canvas navigation. Select Faculty member if prompted.
  2. You will need to apply the OER statement to each section individually. On the tile for your OER course, select the option to separate your sections and adopt materials individually by section.
  3. Select the term and find the tile for your OER section.
  4. Click the link that reads "Only OER material is being used for this course."

tile for the course Information Seeking in Today's World, at the bottom of the box a link reading Only OER material is being used for this course.

  1. The bookstore listing for your course will update in 24-48 hours with the message, "Free and open educational resources are being used for this course. Please contact your instructor."

Faculty OER Toolkit

The Faculty OER Toolkit is an information resource about and guide to adapting and adopting Open Educational Resources. Included are definitions and examples, information about Creative Commons licensing, and tips on how to adapt and/or adopt OER for classroom use.

Published by BCcampus