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Faculty Guide: OER Open Educational Resources

Guide to effectively using library resources and services at HIU.

Publishing Models

Traditional Textbooks

  • Publisher pays the author
  • Publisher charges students
  • Students pay the publishers for textbooks
  • Copyright is retained by the publishers

Institution Funding

  • College/University Press print textbooks
  • Aufhors are paid by College/University
  • Students get the textbooks
  • Copyright is retained by the institution

External Funding

  • Government, foundations, or consortia grant funding to Institutions
  • Colleges/Universities print textbooks
  • Authors are paid by their Institutions
  • Copyright is licensed through Creative Commons
  • Students are not charged for textbooks

(Open Education Network)

Glossary of Terms

New online educational resources are picking up steam not only with online instructors but also traditional on-ground professors. What does it mean to have a DRM free resource? What is OER? Here are some important terms to understand when choosing online readings for students.

  • eBook (electronic book) - a book publication in digital form. 
  • eBook readers - devices for reading eBooks (such as Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook) designed to allow reading of specific proprietary eBook formats.
  • DRM (Digital rights management) refers to access control technologies for restricting the use of proprietary hardware and copyrighted works.
  • DRM-Free eBooks with unlimited access to users with no restrictions on printing, saving, or copying.
  • OER (Open Educational Resources) are teaching, learning and research materials that are freely accessible for use, adaptation, and redistribution with little or no restrictions. (UNESCO)

What is OER?

  • born digital resources
  • used in educational settings
  • used in place of traditional, printed materials
  • licensed by authors and publishers to be freely used and adapted

(Jeremy Labosier, CCCU Snezek Institute Webinar, 2022-01-18)

Creative Commons Licensing

  • Attribution - others can copy, distribute, display, perform and remix your work if they credit your name as requested by you
  • No Derivative Works - Others can only copy, distribute, display or perform verbatim copies of your work
  • Share Alike - Others can distribute your work only under a license identical to the one you have chosen for your work
  • Non-Commercial - Others can copy, distribute, display, perform or remix your work but for non-commercial purposes only.

OER is not...

  • the same as $0 or low-cost textbook initiatives (but it can be a part of them)
  • the same as open access publishing (OA usually refers to journals, not textbooks)
  • making resources available online when the authors retain all copyrights

(Jenni Breems, CCCU Snezek Institute webinar, 2022-01-18)

Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. (Wikipedia 3/19/2020)

Additional Resources


Journal Article

Parker, Jeanette A. Open Education Resources and the Academic Library. (2021) The Christian Librarian 64:2.(