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Open Educational Resources (OER)


You may have heard the term “OER,” and wondered - what exactly does it mean? 

OER refers to any educational content that is free and openly-licensed.

Free – No cost to students and no exorbitant textbook prices.

Openly-licensed – When something is openly-licensed, it means that the author/creator has made their work available for others to use and share, typically through a Creative Commons license. (See the Understanding Licensing tab for more).

Why OER? This type of "open" sharing is a new model, different than what is allowed under traditional copyright.

OER has the potential to lower the cost of education, by offering free course materials. 


ZTC at CityTech - Find out more about "ZTC" or Zero Textbook Cost courses. 

Open @ CUNY - This blog shares reflections by CUNY librarians on many topics of "open." 

Open Textbooks - SUNY - Open content developed at SUNY, and freely available for use. 

OER Representatives - List of representatives at each campus. 


A Faculty Perspective on OER - Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani describes his experiences as an early adopter of OER textbooks. 

Open Pedagogy Notebook - For those interested in the intersections between "open" and teaching, this site explores the emerging questions and discussions about OER/OA in practice. 

SPARC Fact Sheet - Great overview of the concepts and how OER responds to high textbook costs. 


Ursula C. Schwerin Library
New York City College of Technology
of the City University of New York
300 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Circulation: 718.260.5470
Reference: 718.260.5485

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