"OER Basics: Why use Open Educational Resources?

Why use Open Educational Resources?

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 in 10 students will not purchase a textbook because it was too expensive; textbooks and learning materials cost students approximately $1,200 to $1500 per year [1].  Through Open Educational Resources (OER), the cost of student materials can be drastically reduced.  In addition, OER gives instructors the ability to customize textbook materials, thus creating the effective textbook.  OER also relieves instructors of being bound to traditional, expensive print resources. It is the ever increasing cost of textbooks and materials for students that is now pushing the OER movement forward.

  • One in five college students has skipped or deferred a class due to the price of the required learning resources.

  • The cost of textbooks is rising at a rate of 4 times inflation

  • 60% of students have delayed purchasing textbooks until they’ve received their financial aid.

Through OERs the cost of student materials can be drastically reduced

OERs give faculty the ability to customize course materials, creating the "perfect" course packet or textbook instead of being bound to a traditional one-size-fits-all model. Customization gives faculty control over the quality of their course materials as well as the type and timing of updates to textbooks and other resources. Customization also allows faculty to infuse course materials with pedagogy that reflects the  mission of "preparing leaders for the transformation of society". Some faculty also enjoy the opportunity to include upper-level students in the creation of course materials. OERs also allow required textbooks or materials to be available to all students from the very first day of class or beforehand.

This OER website is specifically designed to introduce Open Educational Resources to the Avila University community. The main emphasis in the OER initiative at Avila is to make learning content more cost-effective, discoverable, and accessible for students, faculty, and staff. The OER initiative at Avila looks to improve faculty teaching and student learning while building a learning environment unique to Avila.

1. Redden, Molly. “7 In 10 Students Have Skipped Buying a Textbook Because of Its Cost.” Chronicle.com, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 23 Aug. 2011, www.chronicle.com/article/7-in-10-Students-Have-Skipped/128785. 


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