Open access (OA) is the practice of providing unrestricted
access via the Internet to peer-reviewed scholarly research.
It is most commonly applied to scholarly journal articles, but
it is also increasingly being provided to theses, scholarly
monographs and book chapters.
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational
materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open
license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can
legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range
from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests,
projects, audio, video and animation.
Logo: By Markus Büsges (leomaria design) für Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. (Wikimedia Deutschland e. V.) [CC BY-SA 4.0
(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Textbook prices have risen 800% over the past 30 years and 65% of students have chosen not to buy a textbook because of the prohibitive cost. On average, students spend $1,200 per year on textbooks and supplies. (College Board, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Student PIRGs, Association of American publishers). These costs are creating barriers to education for American students. Open educational resources are free of charge and available to every student without the hurdle of cost.
OERs save instructors time if they are seeking alternative course teaching content without creating their own resources.
Encourages collaboration among instructors teaching similar material.
Moves coursework past “teaching the textbook” to more interactive and content-focused learning.
OERs can be shared and remixed for different courses across disciplines.