Skip to main content

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Information about OERs and Southworth Library Learning Commons

Frequently Asked Questions

What are OER?

  • OER, Open Educational Resources, are learning resources under the creative commons license. Depending on the type of creative commons under which learning materials, such as media, lectures, research materials, and texts, are licensed, users can retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute.

Can OER be high quality if it is free?

  • Studies at both the K-12 and higher education levels show that students who use OER do as well, and often better, than their peers using traditional resources. Also, many OER are developed through rigorous peer review and production processes that mirror traditional materials. However, it is important to note that being open or closed does not inherently affect the quality of a resource. Being open does enable educators to use the resource more effectively, which can lead to better outcomes. For example, OER can be updated, tailored and improved locally to fit the needs of students, and it also eliminates cost as a barrier for students to access their materials.

Where do I find materials?

  • The librarians at Southworth Library Learning Commons can help you adopt OER.  See your Library Liaison for more information
  • OASIS is a search tool from SUNY Geneseo to locate many types of OER - https://oasis.geneseo.edu/ 

How do I go about creating an OER course?

  • First, identify the OER you would like to use.  You can freely mix and match from different sources, and depending how materials are licensed, you can edit and change them as you wish.
  • If you are using OER in a face-to-face course, you can simply replace the textbooks or other course materials with openly-licensed resources.
  • If you are using OER for online or hybrid courses, you can link to the resources through Blackboard or load a ready-to-adopt course right into Blackboard.
  • To add OER, a SUNY or Lumen Learning course, or other resources into Blackboard, the Online Learning Department can help you. 
  • To set up an appointment with Online Learning, email ol@canton.edu

Where do I get help to incorporate OER materials into Blackboard?

  • To add OER, a SUNY or Lumen Learning course, or other resources into Blackboard, the Online Learning Department can help you.  Please make an appointment with an Instructional Designer for help with this.

Can my course be BOTH OER and Low Cost?

  • Absolutely.  If your course meets both definitions, please indicate it as both attributes.

If my class uses an electronic textbook purchased through the library, does it count as OER/LOW? 

  • If the book is not openly licensed, your course cannot be considered OER.  As long as your students can access it through the library's website, your course can be considered Low Cost.  Please provide the eBook link to your students and indicate through the Textbook Center that the book is freely accessible through the library.

If my class has an optional textbook costing more than $60 that is not required, does it count as LOW?

  • If the book is not openly licensed, your course cannot be considered OER.  As long as you do not require the textbook in order for students to earn their grade, it can be considered Low Cost.

How often do I need to report my course as OER or Low Cost?

  • Every semester, at course demands time.