The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation defines Open Educational Resources (OER) as teaching, learning and research materials in any medium --digital or otherwise-- that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. OER can be textbooks, full courses, lesson plans, videos, tests, software, or any other tool, material, or technique that supports access to knowledge.
Why use OER?
Open Educational Resources are beneficial to students both in access to course content and in savings on course materials.
OER materials can be remixed and revised by course instructors to fit the exact content needs of a particular course.
Students have immediate access to course materials on the first day of class. Students will not get behind on readings due to awaiting the delivery of their textbook.
Some students decline to purchase a textbook due to high costs. OER ensures all students will have access to required course materials and therefore a higher chance of success.