The Benefits of Using OER For Remote Teaching

Open Educational Resources (OER) have experienced a growing popularity at the U of S during the past six years, with more than 6,500 students using open textbooks and other OER instead of commercial textbooks. They’re free to use, easy to access, and allow for adaptation to improve student engagement and learning, as well as instructor academic freedom (no commercial publisher telling you what you should teach).

With the move of all U of S courses to being offered remotely for at least the spring and summer terms, the use of OER makes a lot of sense, especially with the Bookstore being closed. OER materials are easily accessible for instructors and students, without having to order a book online or purchase an access code, and users never lose access.

Below are some quick facts about OER:

  • OER, including open textbooks have had most copyright restrictions removed allowing for free access by anyone on any devise connected to the Internet.
  • OER can be printed. The Bookstore normally offers a print-on-demand service, but materials can also be printed at home if students wish.
  • OER exists for most major first year courses, and a growing number of other courses. If you wish to find OER, start with the BCcampus catalogue or contact Heather Ross at the GMCTL.
  • Most OER can be modified to meet local needs.
  • Instructors and students have created or adapted several open textbooks that can be found in our catalogue.
  • The U of S uses the Pressbooks platform for hosting, creating, and adapting open textbooks.
  • The U of S has funding to support the adaptation of existing OER and the creation of ancillary resources (test banks, slides, etc.)

If you would like more information about using OER or will be using OER in the coming terms, please contact Heather Ross.