OER are materials that have been created for teaching purposes and released free of cost under an open license, such as a Creative Commons license. These licenses typically allow customization and remixing, giving the course instructor full control of the content. OER can include syllabi, textbooks, lecture notes, simulations, and question banks, and more.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics textbook costs have risen 88% over the past decade. One way to reduce costs that may pose a barrier for your students is to employ open educational resources to increase your students' access to these materials. Since open educational resources can be accessed freely online, all students in a course using OER have access to their materials on the first day of class. Studies have shown that classes that use OER resources have similar prep times, same or better test scores, and lower drop rates than courses using traditional textbooks.
Whether you are interested in incorporating OER into a single lesson, or replacing your entire textbook with one that is openly licensed, the UD librarians can help. If you're not sure who to talk to, reach out to your subject specialist librarian, who can help give you the best starting points for finding open resources in your subject area. We can also help you to navigate questions that you may have about how these resources can be used and what open licenses you may need to seek out for your project or course.