Textbooks are expensive. Some students may not buy the textbook for a course because they can’t afford it which affects their performance in the class. Others may simply not take a course due to the cost of the required texts. This infographic from OpenOregon.org visualizes the numbers. What’s the alternative?
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 free use and repurposing by others.” OER includes course materials, textbooks, videos, tests, software and even full courses. OER can cut textbook costs for student making education more affordable. It can also provide more freedom to an instructor who is no longer limited to a textbook structure. Instructors decide what to teach and then look for resources to support their content.
The video from Open Oregon below provides a good intro to OER and this list of OER sites from Educause will help you get started.