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Guide to OER: Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources

OERs are classroom and study materials that can be used, adapted, and redistributed by others with no or limited restrictions.

We've collected some places to start looking, organized by discipline.

Library Resources as Texts

Library eBooks and articles from our databases are resources we already have, and save students money.

Your Librarians Can Help!

Schedule a time to meet with Kelly & Robin. We're happy to help you look for resources.

What else can faculty members do?

If a traditional text is the best fit for your class, here are a few considerations to help with costs.

1. Link to articles in Library databases instead of compiling coursepacks of articles

  • Reduce the expense of coursepacks by linking to articles in the library's electronic collections.
  • Resort to coursepacks only for those sources not available in library databases.
  • Please link to library subscribed sources wherever possible -  we don't need to make students pay for accessible materials.

2. Submit your required readings list as early as possible

  • Demand for used texts is high across the country.
  • The earlier K's bookstore can place orders, the more likely they can obtain used copies for your students.

3. Avoid assigning textbooks with Access Codes

  • Access Code texts make it difficult for students to save money with a used text.
  • Publishers are required by federal law to sell access codes separately, but in practice they don’t always provide this option to students, or they charge exorbitant prices for the codes.
  • By law, publishers must inform instructors of the code cost.
  • If you assign code-required texts, ask for price and availability of the access code before you adopt a text.

4. Give students time to obtain the text

  • Consider assigning an article from library databases or other no cost readings during the first week, and wait till the 2nd week to use purchased texts.

5. Consider placing a copy of your text on Course Reserves at your library.

  • Library Course Reserves for course readings provides a money saving alternative for students.
  • Reserves is available when the bookstore runs out of copies.

Reserves Tips: 
1.) Place your Reserves request early. If you wait till classes begin, staff have less time to process reserve requests.
2.) If the library doesn't own the book, it may be possible to place a personal copy on Reserves.

The Problem with Custom Editions & Code Packaged Textbooks

Academic Freedom & Disciplinary Diversity

Academic Freedom
It is important that faculty have the freedom to choose the most effective course materials. The ability to combine chapters, articles, and OERs from various sources can enhance a professor's options in designing the best course.

Disciplinary Diversity
Disciplines tend to use different types of materials for scholarship and teaching. The humanities rely less on standard texts (and course materials tend to be less expensive); while some disciplines rely heavily on articles for course readings; and for other fields, standard texts work best. It's important to select materials that work best for teaching in a field AND to consider the effects of course material costs on students.

Resources for Students with Disabilities