Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Many universities have implemented Open Textbooks, which are high quality, peer reviewed textbooks, available for free, and have saved students millions of dollars.
Open textbook use at CBU in 2020 has saved Students over $100,000!
Cost! Did you know that students at CBU spend on average $877.00 on textbooks a year? Over the last 20 years, textbook costs have increased at three times the rate of inflation, they are 200% more expensive. The textbook publishing industry practices such as requiring online codes to access more material, updating editions frequently, etc, have hindered students from purchasing second hand books, or being able to share textbooks.
Furthermore, the textbook industry often limits the library's ability to purchase textbooks, and if they can be purchased they often are priced out of the library's range, and have user limits which makes them largely inaccessible for students.
With the emergence of digital software to create and host ebooks, Open Educational Resources are a viable alternative, which are high quality ( written by the experts, and peer reviewed), cost effective, and can contribute to the creator's scholarly record.
OERs allow for both creation of and customization of open resources. This means you can update your material to suit your class as you wish.
Below are several OER repositories which contain hundreds of open textbooks and ancillary materials. If you need help looking for an Open Textbook in your discipline please contact your librarian.
E Campass Ontario Open Library
Open Textbook Library (USA)
CAUL, our library consortia, has invested in an open textbook platform for Atlantic Canada. Create, search for and use, or apply for funding to create new OER materials here.
Grants for OER creation