Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online to students, educators, and the general public. They include textbooks, quizzes, class exercises, videos, and other learning objects that have been openly licensed so that others can adopt or reuse this material for their own purposes.
To be more specific, when we say that OERs are openly licensed, we mean that they can be retained, reused, revised, remixed, and redistributed. In practice this means:
Not all, but many creators of OERs choose to apply licenses indicating how others can use their work. Most commonly used are Creative Commons licenses, or a set of statements that indicate the author's wishes when it comes to citing their work, using it for commercial purposes, adapting it, and redistributing it. The OER community encourages open licenses to allow OERs to grow and improve over time while being used in local settings.
While library-licensed resources are not OERs, they can be used in conjunction with OERs as a cost-saving measure. WSU Libraries license resources including ebooks, journal articles, and media that can be used by WSU faculty, students, and affiliates at no additional cost, depending on the licensing arrangement. If you are interested in using this material in your class, we advise exploring in Search It to find resources you may be interested in and speaking to a librarian about your search. This guide about linking to library-licensed materials may also prove useful.
This page outlines alternatives resources that can be used in lieu of expensive textbooks. Alternatives include open educational resources and library-licensed content, or material that is licensed by WSU Libraries and therefore available to the WSU community at no additional cost.