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Why Is OER Important?

The Benefits of OER


"Open Education maximizes the power of the Internet to make education more affordable, accessible and effective."

There are many reasons to use OER. Here are just a few:

  • Affordable - students save money
  • Availability - every student has access to the material on the first day of class
  • Flexible - redistribute and reuse content
  • Customizable - revise and remix
  • Up to Date - add the latest research, events, information
  • Accessible - can be more accessible than print copies
  • Beneficial to All - knowledge can be freely and widely distrubuted around the world

More detailed information is available from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC):

Textbook costs should not be a barrier to education.
The price of textbooks has skyrocketed more than three times the rate of inflation for decades. College students face steep price tags that can top $200 per book, and K-12 schools use books many years out of date because they are too expensive to replace. Using OER solves this problem because the material is free online, affordable in print, and can be saved forever. Resources that would otherwise go to purchasing textbooks can be redirected toward technology, improving instruction, or reducing debt.

Students learn more when they have access to quality materials.
The rapidly rising cost of textbooks in higher education has left many students without access to the materials they need to succeed. Studies show that 93% of students who use OER do as well or better than those using traditional materials, since they have easy access to the content starting day one of the course.

Technology holds boundless potential to improve teaching and learning.
Open Education ensures that teachers, learners and institutions can fully explore this potential. Imagine a biology textbook that incorporates COVID-19 in the chapter about viruses, or a math tutorial that incorporates local landmarks into word problems. Imagine a lecture attended by hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, or a peer-to-peer exchange between Canadian students learning Mandarin with Chinese students learning English or French. All of this and more is possible when the pathways for technology in education are fully open.

Better education means a better future.
Education is the key to advancing society’s greatest goals, from a building a strong economy to leading healthy lives. By increasing access to education and creating a platform for more effective teaching and learning, Open Education benefits us all.

Why OER?


Adapted from:
Benefits of OER, by Northwestern Michigan College Library (CCY BY 4.0 license).
Open Education, by Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) (CCY BY 4.0 license).
Why Use OER?, by Criss Library, Univerity of Nebraska Omaha (CCY BY 4.0 license).
OER image, by Hgantunez (CC BY-SA 4.0 license).