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Why use an Open Educational Resource (OER)?

As Ursinus implements a strategy of Every Student’s Success, one important way you can make a difference for all students to achieve equity and access in your course is to add an Open Educational Resource (OER).

In addition to overcoming the challenges students experience with textbook affordability and accessibility, OERs have the advantage of customization which may already be essential to assembling your sources. OERs give faculty the ability to tailor course materials, creating the “perfect” course packet or textbook instead of being bound to a traditional one-size-fits-all model. Customization gives faculty control over the quality of their course materials as well as the type and timing of updates compared to traditional textbooks and other resources.

As you consider options for your departments and courses, consider these benefits to using OERs.

  • Accessibility and Relevance. Students can access the course materials immediately, and current information may be disseminated rapidly (especially when compared to information published in textbooks or journals, which may take months or even years to become available). Quick availability of material may increase the timeliness and/or relevance of the material being presented.
  • Affordability. OERs are easy to distribute to students in Canvas with no cost.
  • Augmentation of class materials. OERs can supplement textbooks and lectures when there are gaps in content.
  • Add Multimedia Enhancements. Materials such as videos can accompany text easily in OERs. Presenting information in multiple formats may help students learn the material more easily.
  • Continually Improved Resources. Unlike textbooks and other static sources of information, OERs can be improved quickly through direct editing by users or incorporation of user feedback. Instructors can take an existing OER, adapt it for a class, and make the modified OER available for others to use as well.

Are you ready to find Open Education Resources to encourage student engagement and success in your courses? If so, please join Join Library and IT, the Dean’s Office, and the Teaching & Learning Institute for:

Open Educational Resources (OER) and Practices Lunch and Learn

Wednesday, April 13, 2022, from 12 noon - 1 p.m.
IDC-114 and via Zoom

RSVP for the Zoom link and lunch

We have a unique opportunity for our speaker to assist us in sourcing OERs in preparation for the talk. If you have an interest in finding and/or developing OERs for your department or classes, please email sragusa@ursinus.edu with the course name/s.

For more information:

Executive Summary • Strategic Plan: Every Student’s Success • Ursinus

OER Basics - Open Educational Resources (OERs) - Research Portal at Ursinus College

Benefits of Using OER | OER and Low-Cost Materials at Penn State (psu.edu)

Quick Links


Sue Ragusa I she/her/hers
Instructional Technologist
Library and Information Technology
Phone: 610-409-3153

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