What is OER?
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that may be freely used and reused at no cost, often without needing to ask permission. OER are authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights. These resources range from individual lessons and readings to fully-functional, subject-specific textbooks created at academic institutions and universities. In particular, OER textbooks can provide significant cost savings for students without any negative impact on student success or academic rigor.
In many cases this means one can select a resource that is immediately available to all students. In other cases, one may even be able to adapt an OER textbook or lesson, editing and repurposing it in a way that better fits the needs of a course and the students. This remixed work can then be re-posted so that other users of OER may benefit.
OER often have a Creative Commons license or other permission to let one know how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared.
OER @ SRU
Slippery Rock University supports the adoption of OER in several ways. Academic Affairs and Integrated Learning and Bailey Library provide personnel and resources to help faculty identify, adopt, and adapt suitable OER for students. The library provides an OER Guide, material selection support via subject specialist librarians, and a library faculty member functioning as a dedicated OER Campus Partner that works with Affordable Learning PA. Affordable Learning PA is a statewide affordable learning initiative spearheaded by the Pennsylvania Academic Libraries Consortium, which SRU's Bailey Library belongs to. SRU has also established a partnership with learning technology company Top Hat to make it easier for SRU faculty to select, adopt and edit existing OER materials at no cost to faculty or students.
SRU and Top Hat
SRU's partnership with Top Hat provides additional support for finding and adapting existing OER materials at SRU. Top Hat provides a platform, Top Hat Textbook, for OER materials that gives instructors the ability to customize existing OER texts for their own purposes, such as re-arranging, editing, adding links and videos, and embedding questions in the text. In addition, Top Hat Textbook is integrated smoothly with D2L. All of these features are provided at no additional cost to students. To learn more about how Top Hat can help you utilize OER @ SRU, check out the library's guide to Top Hat and OER.
Top Hat provides an Educational Technology Consultant that may be contacted for questions regarding Top Hat.
Educational Technology Consultant
Professional Development Grant Opportunities w/OER
Professional Development Grants are available for faculty members that make a concerted effort to implement OER in their courses. For details, please review the OER Grant FAQ.
To apply, fill out the OER Grant form. Please ensure you have read the OER Grant FAQ before filling out the form.
Bailey Library has provided an OER Library Research Guide which should aid anyone that wishes to implement OER or wants to know more. The guide now provides contact information for campus OER specialists and will soon provide information on ways SRU Faculty can search for OER, apply for an OER-related Professional Development Grant, and more.
Faculty Learning Community
Details on an OER-focused Faculty Learning Community are coming soon! Watch this space for updates on participating in the Faculty Learning Community coming in the Fall of 2019. The community will focus on adopting, adapting, effectively utilizing, and assessing the use of an OER in your classroom.
would you like to know more? Contact:
Business Librarian / OER Business Partner