Our List of Open Educational Resources and Initiatives

October 3, 2014 | Textbook Affordability

Open Educational Resources (OERS) are freely available teaching and learning materials that have emerged as a response to rising textbook prices. Here is our list of OER and OER initiatives that you might like to know about.

1. Affordable Textbooks: A Policy Guide By Ethan Senack, The U.S. PIRG Education Fund & the Student PIRGs, March 2014

2. Creative Commons – model licenses for OER developed content.

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Its free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.” Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.

3. Creative Commons Interactive Tutorial

This tutorial from Newfoundland’s Memorial University teaches anyone to share his/her work without losing copyright protection.

4. Educause Learning Initiative: 7 Things You Should Know AboutTM… Open Textbook Publishing. March 2011.

A primer on open textbook publishing educational resources model from EDUCAUSE,® a nonprofit association of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education.

5. Fixing the Broken Textbook Market: How Students Respond to High Textbook Costs and Demand Alternatives By Ethan Senack, the Student PIRGS, January 2014

The Student PIRGs conducted a study to investigate the continued effects of high textbook prices on students and higher education, as well as to evaluate student interest in alternatives to the traditional textbook.

6. OpenStax College

OpenStax College offers students free textbooks that meet scope and sequence requirements for most courses. These are peer-reviewed texts written by professional content developers.

7. SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC believes that Open Educational Resources (OER) maximize the power of the Internet to improve teaching and learning, and increase access to education.

8. Tips for saving on textbooks.

The University Office of Computing and Information Services at CUNY has compiled this fact sheet to help students save money when purchasing textbooks.

9. University of Minnesota Open Textbook Library

This library is a tool to help instructors find affordable, quality textbook solutions. All textbooks in this library are complete and openly licensed.