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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.