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What is an Open Educational Resource (OER)?

"…any educational resources (including curriculum maps, course materials, textbooks, streaming videos, multimedia applications, podcasts, and any other materials that have been designed for use in teaching and learning) that are openly available for use by educators and students, without an accompanying need to pay royalties or licence fees.

Butcher, N. (2011). A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER). Commonwealth of Learning and UNESCO. http://hdl.handle.net/11599/36 

What makes a resource "open"?

David Wiley’s 5 R’s of open education provides a clear summary of how to answer these questions:

  1. Retain – You are welcome to download and keep the materials whether you are an author, an instructor, or a student.
  2. Reuse – You are free to use materials in a wide variety of ways without expressly asking permission of the copyright holder.
  3. Revise – You can adapt, alter, or modify the content to suit specific purposes, such as educators who make the material more relevant to their students. You can also make the resource available in a number of different formats.
  4. Remix – You can pull together a number of different resources to create something new.
  5. Redistribute – You are free to share with others, so they can reuse, remix, improve upon, correct, or review the work.

(Manitoba Open Textbook Initiative)

What's driving open teaching and learning materials?:                        

  • Concern over cost of educational materials e.g. student #textbookbroke campaigns  
  • Technology
  • Culture of openness, sharing and mixing 
  • Growth in distance ed​ucation
  • Need to reach under-served populations  

Benefits of OER

 Challenges of OER

  • Lower costs
  • Built-in accessibility features
  • Customization & flexibility:​ Encourages active learning
  • Broader reach​: available to all
  • Peer scrutiny promotes quality improvement
  • Takes time to find “right” textbook​ 
  • Major shift in editorial production process​: more work for authors/creators
  • Loss of commercial opportunity: no revenue for authors

This content was derived from Elizabeth Yates' Open Educational Resources guide, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Creative Commons License

OER advocacy

Student Advocacy

Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

OUSA released a policy paper on OERs in November 2017 recommending that Ontario provide financial and infrastructure supports required for faculty to develop, adopt and review OERs.

Canadian Alliance of Student Associations

In November 2017, CASA released a strategy focused on federal government support for post-secondary education. CASA recommends that Canada's Tri-Agencies invest $8 million annually for graduate students and faculty to develop OER.


This content was derived from Elizabeth Yates' Open Educational Resources guide, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Creative Commons License

OER in Canada

eCampus Ontario Open Textbook Library

Ontario's Open Textbook Library features more than 200 quality-reviewed texts available to be freely used, adapted and distributed. They can be downloaded for no cost or printed at low cost. This project is funded by the Ontario government and is a partnership between BCcampus and eCampusOntario.

BC Open Campus

British Columbia is Canada's leader in adopting OER. The BC Open Campus program, funded by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education  launched in 2012 with a mandate to create open textbooks for 40 highest enrollment subject areas in province. The program has grown rapidly since then.

BC Open Textbook Stats

Student savings $3-$4M
Number of B.C. students using open textbooks 35112
Number of B.C. institutions adopting open textbooks 32
Number of B.C. faculty using open textbooks 283
Number of B.C. open textbook adoptions 1071

*as of March 2017. https://open.bccampus.ca/open-textbook-stats/

Campus Manitoba

Manitoba Open Textbook Initiative

Announced in 2015 by Manitoba's education ministry, the initiative features a collection of 180 open textbooks. The initiative includes funding for 25 faculty reviews of the textbooks in the collection. 


This content was derived from Elizabeth Yates' Open Educational Resources guide, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Creative Commons License

 

OER at Laurentian

Open access journals

The Laurentian University Library and Archives currently publishes two open access journals:

More information on publishing journals at Laurentian University is available in our Publication Services guide.

Open initiatives

Laurentian University is currently participating in a number of eCampusOntario-funded projects, including:

Books

  • Comprehensive Midwifery: The Profession of Midwifery - a midwifery open interactive textbook

Courses

  • Planet Earth Online - 10 online modules to explore the fundamental concepts of how our planet works

OER collections

Open textbook collections

OER collections

Creating and editing an OER

Platforms for creating OER

Learn more


This content was derived from Elizabeth Yates' Open Educational Resources guide, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Creative Commons License