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Open Educational Resources (OER)

OER Commons

OER Commons defines open educational resources (OER) as, “teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost, and without needing to ask permission. Unlike copyrighted resources, OER have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights".

OER often have a Creative Commons license or other permission to let you know how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared.

Some examples of OER are:

  • Textbooks
  • Lecture Slides
  • Podcasts
  • Online Courses
  • Videos
  • Quizzes

For a course to be labeled “OER”

Open Educational Resources (OER): No Textbook to Purchase: a course uses Open Educational Resources (OER) as the primary, required instructional materials for the course. A printed version and some supplementary course materials may be available for purchase in bookstore. OER’s are resources released either under an open license or in the public domain permitting their free use, repurposing, and sharing.

Includes: ALL required instructional materials such as textbooks, websites, software programs, apps, courseware packages, access codes to homework websites etc.

Does NOT include tools & supplies, course fees, small copying/printing costs


For a course to be labeled “Low Cost”

Low cost Textbooks: To be designated as a Low-Cost course, the combined cost of the required course materials should be $50 or less

  • Includes: ALL required instructional materials such as textbooks, websites, software programs, apps, courseware packages, access codes to homework websites etc.
  • Does NOT include tools & supplies, course fees, small copying/printing costs.
  • The labeling is applied to an individual class section of a course, not to the overall course itself.
  • The threshold is based on the price at the campus bookstore or charged by the publisher directly, whichever is Lower.
  • Prorating the book cost based on the number of credits or number of sections used is not allowed. For example, a $100 textbook spanning two quarters is not to be prorated 50/50, thus, not to be labeled Low-Cost.

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