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Open Educational Resources (OER): Why Use OER

Reasons to Use OER

There are many benefits to using OER:

1. Affordability for students: Textbook costs have risen far more quickly than inflation in the past twenty years, leading many students to delay or not purchase assigned textbooks.  Inclusive access initially helped lower costs, but publishers have started raising prices; indeed, for fall 2022, many of SU's inclusive access titles cost over $100.

Graph of huge rise in textbook costs 2001-2021

2. It puts the faculty in charge.You can mix and match materials from various sites and are not locked into one book nor are you stuck using a publisher that the university has a contract with.

3. You can adapt materials to your priorities. You can localize materials--that is, you can add examples relevant to your geographical area or your students; or you can change language to preferred gender, racial, and other terms; you can make materials appropriately accessible (see MOST's guide to OER accessibility).

4. It supports creative teaching. You can have students create materials themselves or engage with materials in different ways. See the University of Montana's guide to open pedagogy for ideas.

5. It supports student success, increasing student grades and decreasing DFW rates, especially "for non-white and Pell-eligible students, part-time students, and populations historically underserved by higher education" -- see "OER and Student Success" in the OER Subject Librarian Toolkit.