Open Educational Resources (OER)


General Overview

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that have been openly licensed to share intellectual content or reside in the public domain. OER include textbooks, streaming videos, assessment materials, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support knowledge acquisition.

"OER Defined" by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is licensed under CC BY 3.0

The benefits of Open Educational Resources (OER) include:

  • Cost savings for students
  • The availability of course materials – including textbook content – on day one of class for all students
  • The opportunity for faculty to remix openly licensed materials to fit course learning objectives and to make more relevant and meaningful connections to student experiences, interests, and goals

Open Education at LWTech

LWTech takes pride in its commitment to the introduction of OER in academic programs. Disciplines that currently have OER integration include:

  • Math
  • Chemistry and Biology
  • Psychology and Sociology

Classes that use OER are noted in each quarter's Class Schedule. Look for classes in the disciplines listed above with the statement, "This course uses Open Educational Resources (OER)."

Library staff wearing Open for Learning shirts

OER Degree Initiative

LWTech is a grantee college in Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative. The college is developing a fully OER pathway for the Associate in Biology DTA/MRP. Students enrolled in OER-designated courses that meet the requirements of the biology degree access textbooks and other course materials for free through their courses in Canvas. They also have the option to buy print versions of the texts in the campus bookstore for very low cost.

Library as Open Education Leaders (LOEL)

This formal project, run by the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, under a LSTA grant, provided mini-grant funding for collaborations between librarians and other faculty. One LOEL collaboration occurred at LWTech between Chemistry Professor Priyanka Pant and Faculty Librarian Heath Davis. This work formally initiated librarian-centered OER involvement at LWTech. More information on the LOEL project can be read in its summary report.

Librarians continue to play a key role at LWTech in promoting open access resources. Faculty Librarians and other library team members at LWTech are available to help faculty and other educators in their development of OER. Library support includes researching/evaluating/selecting pre-existing OER in desired core subject areas and related (similar) subject areas; providing consultation on necessary original OER requirements; creating course plans and outlines in the context of OER creation; and verifying/validating any licensing requirements for OER developed and used at the college. Additionally, selected members of the library team are responsible for contributing to the overall ecosystem/learning environment of OER and a "culture of open" throughout the LWTech college community.

Openly licensed learning materials are available most readily through the library’s online catalog interface, Primo.