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Open and Affordable Textbook Initiative @ LMU

This guide is designed to help LMU faculty learn about, discover, adapt, and create open and/or free alternatives to traditional costly course materials.

What are OER?

According to SPARC, Open Educational Resources (OER) are are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use.

OER can include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.

"An Introduction to Open Educational Resources" by Abbey Elder is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 International license.

Why OER?

OER, particularly open textbooks, save students money while simultaneously empowering faculty by giving them more control over their course content. The power of open educational resources comes from a set of permissions known as the "5 Rs of OER", which allows you to:

  • Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  • Reuse - the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  • Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

These permissions are usually granted by the copyright holder of a work by licensing it under a Creative Commons license.

OER also...

  • Increases equity - provides access for all students to the learning materials they need on day 1 (and also in the future)
  • Offers faculty creativity and flexibility in course design / ability to customize relevant and high quality content
  • Creates opportunities to engage students with content creation
  • Supports local and global access to teaching and learning as a social justice issue
  • Reduces the cost of an LMU education for our students

Learn More

Dive deeper into the Open Education movement...