Open Educational Resources – What are They?
Textbooks are expensive! Textbooks today cost 800% more than 1978 studies show a direct link between textbook costs and student success. A 2016 student survey by Florida Virtual Campus found that 66.6% of students do not purchase textbooks due to high cost. Even worse, this survey shows that due to textbook costs:
- 47.6% of students frequently take fewer courses
- 45.5% of students don’t register for a course
- 26.1% drop a course
- 20.7% students withdraw from courses.
Professors and colleges are trying to make higher education affordable to students but still provide students with quality resources. Open educational resources (OERs) are one of the ways to make this possible. OERs are educational materials, often textbooks, that are published with Creative Commons licenses. They are often written by professors who want to provide more affordable textbook options to students and who provide different forms of scholarship beyond books and articles. These OER textbooks are freely available for anyone to read, modify, print, and share.
PSU Library’s OERs are Free Textbooks – for Everyone
Portland State University Library works with PSU faculty authors to create open textbooks designed specifically for PSU classes in a project called PDXOpen. Open Textbooks have been created for several Portland State disciplines, University Studies, World Languages, Math, Education, Psychology, and Urban Studies.
Outside of the open textbooks created by Portland State faculty, many other excellent OERs are available. Browse Open Textbook Library or OpenStax to see some other open educational resources that can be used for studying or modified into teaching materials. With open educational resources, the possibilities are limitless.