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Open Educational Resources (OER): Get Started

Ole's Open Text

Get OER Support

Students cannot learn from books they cannot afford. --

Ole’s Open Text will support interested instructors in selecting timely, flexible, and engaging resources for students. Ole’s Open Text will promote and assist instructors in integrating appropriate library resources (including purchasing a specific ebook for your course) along with public domain, and open license materials into their courses. 

Contact the library for more information on participating in Ole's Open Text

  • CTS opportunities 
  • One-on-one support from subject librarians 
  • Request ebook purchase
  • Training and support opportunities via the Open Education Network

OER Collections


"Open Educational Resources (OER) are 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." from UNESCO

Additional definitions can be found at the Creative Commons wiki.

Important Features of Open Educational Resources:

  1. OER can either be in the public domain, or under a more lax intellectual property license.
  2. OER can be revised, remixed, added upon, translated, and then shared again to meet different needs.
  3. OER can take many forms, such as: syllabi, lesson plans, videos, software, tests, teaching techniques, group activities, writing prompts, textbooks, learning modules, experiments, simulations, and course designs. There are no platform restraints. 
    Source: The Review Project


OEN member


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Kelly Thompson
Mikkelsen Library
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Why consider OER?

Textbook Prices

Textbook prices continue to rise at a significant rate over inflation.  Instructors can choose OER to alleviate some of the cost of higher education. 


Price Changes: January 2000 to June 2022 Selected US Consumer Goods and Services graph



A recent survey by Florida Virtual Campus revealed the impact of the cost of course resources:

In your Academic Career, has the cost of required textbooks caused you to: Not Purchase the required textbook (53.3%), Take fewer courses (43.7%), Not register for a specific course (38.5%), Earn a poor grade (32.4%), Drop a course (24.2%)


Florida Virtual Campus. (2022). 2022 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey,


Student and Institution Performance

A multi-institutional study has shown that classes that employ OER have lower drop and withdrawal rates than those using traditional, costly, textbooks keeping students on track to graduate. Student performance in classes using OER has been shown to be the same as or marginally improved over that in which traditional textbooks were used.


Interest is building at Augustana

Mirror article Feb 17, 2022, by Ann Madson Professors Use Open Source Textbooks to Alleviate Student Costs  

In the Spring 2020 Mikkelsen Library faculty survey, many Augustana professors indicated both knowledge of and interest in using open access or library materials in their courses 

Open Educational Resources awareness and use graph at Augustana

Where Do OER Come From?

OER are typically created by grant-funded academics.  A portion are also created by those who do so out of their own good will or those frustrated by the limitations of traditional texts.  Many of these resources are peer-reviewed and are in use at multiple institutions of higher education.  Open Education Librarians make up a global network that collects, curate, preserve, and share these resources.  They also work to enable faculty to adopt, adapt, and contribute to resources in the commons.

Getting Started

How Do I Get Started With OER?

  1. Find an OER or a combination of several that cover your subject matter needs
  2. Download or bookmark them
  3. Modify and combine them to your liking
  4. Distribute the result to your students via the open, unrestricted web or through an LMS such as Canvas
  5. Consult with the OER librarian for assistance in any of the above steps! 


Voices of Student Success Podcast



Cheryl (Cullier) Casey Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence. 

University Libraries at the University of Oklahoma OER Libguide