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Open and Affordable Course Materials

Why OERs?

The ability to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute learning materials in a highly flexible and customizable way, has a number of tangible benefits for both students and instructors, including:  

Benefits for Students

  • Increased affordability of education: If students can access a resource more easily (i.e. with reduced financial and and other technological/access barriers), they are more likely to use it and learn from it.

"The average cost of undergraduate textbooks and supplies is $200.00CAN per course.  This cost increases on average at a cost of 6%-7% per year and sometimes more" (source: BCcampus Open Textbook Project).

  • Affords greater flexibility: creating, sharing and publishing more accessible learning materials that have been specifically tailored to a specific course fosters a positive learning experience and provides the flexibility that students expect in the digital era.

Benefits for Instructors

  • Why re-invent the wheel? Reusing existing OERs frees up time that can be spent on other aspects of the teaching and learning process. Their use can help faculty expand the range of teaching materials used in academic programs encouraging new and creative learning approaches.

  • Raising profile: Showcasing learning objects, whether as digital collections or as individual learning objects such as podcasts or videos etc., can help raise the instructor’s profile and impact.

  • Greater flexibility in course design: OERs can be integrated into both face-to-face and online courseware in a highly flexible and adaptable way to address specific course learning outcomes.  

  • Value for money: Increased use of Library-licensed or owned resources in print or digital format.

  • Internationalization: OERs contribute to a global knowledge commons supporting international development.