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A guide to the Morgan Open Education Resource Mentoring Initiative project for Geospatial Technologies, funded by the Maryland Open Source Textbook Initiative.

About OERs

OERs are teaching, learning, and research resources that either reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license (Like CC-International) that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. 

Key Features:

  • OERs can either be in the public domain, or used with a less restrictive intellectual property license like Creative Commons.
  • OERs can be revised, modified, translated, and redistributed.
  • OERs come in many formats like syllabi, lesson plans, videos, software, tests, group activities, writing prompts, textbooks, learning modules, experiments, simulations, and course designs.

Visit Richardson Library's OER page HERE.

Did you know...?

That according to Richardson Library's "Textbook Cost and Impact Survey" (2019):

  • 81.38% of students report that they have not purchased a textbook because it was too expensive.
  • 68.84% of students report a belief that their grades have suffered because they could not afford a textbook 
  • 36.43% of students report that they have taken fewer courses because they could not afford a textbook.
  • 24.87% of students report that they have withdrawn from a course because they could not afford a required text.
  • 42.21% of students report that they have considered withdrawing from school because the cost of textbooks was unsustainable.


Here are a few reasons instructors might want to use OERs: 

Free to Use, Adapt and Share with others

  • Faculty can save time and effort by adopting resources that already exist,
  • Faculty can adapt OERS to course-specific content,
  • Faculty can expand opportunities for interdisciplinary teaching and learning by integrating and revising OERs form multiple disciplines,
  • Faculty can expand course content by incorporating multi-media resources,
  • Faculty can expand the scope of their teaching beyond the textbook.

Network and Collaborate with other faculty within and beyond home-institutions 

  • Faculty can have access to OERs that have already been peer reviewed by other experts,
  • Review or annotation OER features so other instructors have more in-depth knowledge of the resource and its quality quickly,
  • Make learning and teaching a team project using collaborative platforms,
  • Develop trans-disciplinary education resources. 

Increase accessibility to course materials and improve academic performance

  • Faculty can reduce the cost of course materials to lessen the burden on students,

  • Faculty can provide access to course content on multiple platforms and devices,

  • Faculty can offer students the opportunity of reviewing course content before enrolling,

  • Faculty can contribute to increasing academic performance and retention.

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