Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials—including textbooks, tools, modules, tests, and software—that are free to use and modify under an open license. They allow no-cost access, adaptation, and redistribution with few or no restrictions.

The benefits of OER are:

  • Expanded access to learning | OER are accessible by anyone from anywhere, at any time, as often as needed
  • Academic distinction and excellence | OER can be tailored to meet classroom needs, addressing content gaps while acquiring a wider audience through community-based research and practice
  • Less expense for students | OER substantially reduce the cost of course content
  • Equity, diversity, inclusion | OER are easily modified to enhance accessibility, reflect local issues, and incorporate student perspectives

Open Educational Resources & WashU Libraries

The WashU Libraries support OER by facilitating the integration of free resources into the curriculum, aiding in creating and adapting materials, and fostering collaboration across academic communities.

The WashU Libraries’ Open Educational Resource (OER) Interest Group meets monthly to prioritize and execute OER initiatives that increase awareness of affordability needs and OER activity across campus and build support, infrastructure, and incentives for OER activity to progress. Members bring skills and competencies in the areas of copyright, open access, information literacy, project management, preservation, and hands-on experience using and promoting OERs.

Visit the Open Educational Resources Research Guide for resources and help finding, creating, and evaluating OER.

Open Educational Resources at WashU

OER and affordable course content initiatives are among more general efforts to broaden access to learning materials, reduce costs, and increase student success. There are many individuals and groups engaged with these issues on campus, including: