Project Description

Open Educational Resources

Cost-free learning resources

Introduction

Purpose

Learn more on how to break down barriers of affordability and accessibility for your students with Open Educational Resources (OER) and DRM free e-books (DRM-Free).

Open Education Resources are cost free to download and are not bound up in copyright restrictions. You can use ‘as is’ or modify under an open licence for your student cohort, OER’s offer a wealth of extra context for your students. 

Digital Rights Management Free e-books are online resources like the Library’s Licensed eBooks but with access rights restrictions removed. They can be purchased by RMIT for use in your courses.  

Why use them?

The rapidly rising cost of textbooks in higher education has left many students without access to the materials they need to succeed. Studies show that 93% of students who use OERs do as well or better than those using traditional materials, since they have easy access to the content starting day one of the course.

Open Educational Resources  are freely accessible and  openly licensed teaching and learning materials that can be reused, shared, revised and remixed.  OERs include textbooks, quizzes, games, videos and other course materials.

The worldwide OER movement is rooted in the human right to access high-quality education. This shift in educational practice is not just about cost savings and easy access to openly licensed content; it’s about participation and co-creation. OERs offer opportunities for systemic change in teaching and learning content through engaging educators in new participatory processes and effective technologies for engaging with learning.

James Glappa-Grossklag, a Dean from College of the Canyons in Southern California, shares his views on OERs

Benefits of OER’s

Benefits for Teachers

  • Reduce economic barriers for your students
  • Enhance student’s learning experience and opportunity
  • Increase success and retention rates
  • Edit and adapt OERs to best prepare your students
  • Include the latest research, events, information in course materials
  • Knowledge can be freely and widely distributed around the world

Benefits for Students

  • Reduced financial stress of textbook purchases
  • Freedom of access (e.g. at home/on placement)
  • Exposure to a wider range of digital learning opportunities in the form of open texts, open images, open courseware, and self-assessment tools
  • The opportunity to test out course materials before enrolling – and compare with other similar courses

How do You Use Them?

Find OERs

The Library OER team has curated a list of collections and search tools to help you find OERs:

Adopt and adapt OERs

The Library OER team will help you adopt and adapt open textbooks.

Email the Library team and they will:

  • Curate OER content for your course
  • Identify key resources
  • Advise on embedding OER content in Canvas
  • Help you understand open licensing

Find DRM-Free e-books

At the RMIT Library, Faculty Select is a customised site that allows you to search for OER content and DRM free e-books from the EBSCO collection.

Access to Faculty Select 

Faculty Select is a new tool. To see how it works, watch EBSCO’s Faculty Select tutorial (YouTube, 2:34 mins).

References