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Library Guides

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Why choose Open Educational Resources?

Benefits for students:

  • Helps to lower the cost of study and provides easy access to resources
  • Allows students to engage with all course materials without the need to purchase textbooks or eBook access licences
  • Supports students who may otherwise be excluded from education or are at risk of failing due to access to resources

Benefits for academics:

  • Can help to increase student retention by reducing costs
  • Resources can be selected and combined to suit specific course needs offering the ability to provide customised materials
  • Using OERs is not shown to negatively affect learning performance

Want an Australian perspective on OERs? We recommend:

Want to read more about OERs? We recommend:

Want to watch webinars about OERs? We recommend:

Related Guides

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching and learning materials which have been made freely available for use and adaptation. OERs are not just textbooks - they can also be videos, images, lesson plans, worksheets, assessments, courses, software, and more.

Only have 5 minutes? Watch this short video which provides an overview of OER.

Released by SMU Libraries via Youtube under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.

OER and Open Access (OA)

What about Open Access? Is this the same thing?

Not quite. Open Access (OA) generally refers to scholarly outputs which are made freely available, allowing any user to read, download, copy or distribute, without financial, legal or technical barriers (AOASG).

OERs on the other hand generally refer to teaching and learning materials which are made freely available (with an open licence, of course).

However, they often go hand-in-hand because students will need to access journal articles, and current research in their field, to complete their studies.

There’s more information about Open Access on the USC Open Access Library Guide. If you’re interested in Open Access publishing, contact your Liaison Librarian or Rebecca Cooke, Coordinator, Research Collections.

If you’d like to know more about OERs or need some help finding the right OERs for your course, contact your Liaison Librarian or Sam Elkington-Dent, Information Officer (Copyright and Compliance).


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