Open Education Resources (OER) include textbooks, course readings and other teaching and learning content available online at little or no cost.
These resources are produced by libraries, universities, government agencies, archival organizations and individuals, and can be used, reused and modified depending on how they have been licensed by the creator of the content.
One of the driving factors for the adoption of OER, such as open textbooks, is they are free. But cost savings is not the only benefit of using OER – they are an essential part of an open pedagogy, and can be used to create a powerful learning experience for your students. Studies have revealed a “positive relationship between the use of OER and student academic achievement” [PDF] and suggest that OER may help to decrease withdrawal rates while increasing overall student grades.
Paul Stacey, in the comprehensive article on the Economics of Open, articulates why open education resources should be adopted, OER can:
To learn more about open resources see the Open Resources guide.
BC Campus provides access to hundreds of open textbooks across all disciplines. Some of the textbooks are adapted from other open education projects and many have been produced in BC, by British Columbian instructors. A complete catalogue of the resources can be easily searched and explored.
BC Campus has set high standards for the quality of the textbooks it supports, and has suggested criteria for instructors to consider when choosing an open textbook: