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Open Educational Resources (OER): Overview

This guide has been created for Coastal Carolina Community College faculty and staff to gain a better understanding of Open Educational Resources and the benefits OER provides for their students and learning environment. The guide also provides a variety of OER resources, including textbooks, books and journals, courseware, digital media, and OER by subject. Your Coastal librarians are available to answer your questions as you navigate through this wealth of information. 


What is OER?

Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.       Source:
Why use OER?

According to SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition): 

  • Textbook costs should not be a barrier to education. 
  • Students learn more when they have access to quality materials.
  • Technology holds boundless potential to improve teaching and learning. 
  • Better education means a better future. 

How do I know if a resource is an OER?

The key distinguishing characteristic of OER is its intellectual property license and the freedoms the license grants to others to share and adapt it. If a lesson plan or activity is not clearly tagged or marked as being in the public domain or having an open license, it is not OER.

How to Use Open Educational Resources
This is a self-paced, 10-module OER workshop from Open Washington.

OER Mythbusting
From SPARC. This resource addresses seven common myths about Open Educational Resources.

Watch this helpful introduction to Open Educational Resources!

Listen to what faculty say about Open Educational Resources!