This web page is intended to introduce Open Educational Resources (OER) to interested faculty and administrators. Below are some frequently asked questions addressing OER benefits, curricular considerations and implementation specific to SAC’s mission.
Download the full version of the Open Educational Resources Frequently Asked Questions for more information about Open Educational Resources (OER) at Santa Ana College.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is OER?
OER stands for Open Educational Resources. "Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse, without charge. OER often have a Creative Commons or GNU license that state specifically how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared” (OER Commons1). OER materials can include textbooks, test materials, instructional videos, and other learning materials and tools.
OER might be similar to what you are currently doing. If you have ever used a worksheet that another instructor created, that's the basic concept of OER. Fundamentally, the only difference between OER and the worksheet you got from a colleague (or vice versa) is that the open license gives you and others formal permission to use, adapt and share it.
For more information about OER and instructional resources, visit the “About OER” section of Nealley Library’s OER guide at http://libguides.sac.edu/oer.
Why might OER be important to students and faculty?
OER materials are available to students on day 1 of class, avoiding delays due to financial difficulties,
and enhancing student equity. Instructors determine their own revision schedule, thereby avoiding publisher pressure to change editions. Students benefit from reduced textbook costs.
How does the quality of OER compare to commercially published material?
Textbook quality varies for both open and commercially published materials. Just as with selecting a commercially produced textbook, faculty must evaluate the quality of a particular OER text.
Do we have to use OER?
No. Using OER is not a requirement for SAC faculty, but you are certainly encouraged to explore possibilities for open content that provide a more cost-effective alternative to your students.
Can I list an OER textbook on my Course Outline of Record (COR)?
Yes, it should be listed on the COR in a way that a reviewer could access the content (e.g., ISBN or URL).
How do I find OER for my course?
Several online sites and repositories exist that contain OER supporting a variety of disciplines and subject areas. You can find a list of such resources on the SAC OER Libguide at http://libguides.sac.edu/oer_resources
You are also welcome to contact librarian Annie Knight (OER liaison) by email for research assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org
How long does it take to adopt an OER textbook?
Adopting an existing OER textbook without modification takes the same amount of time as adopting a traditional text.
Will courses using OER in the CA Community Colleges transfer to the CSU?
The articulation statement from the CSU and UC (2017) is as follows:
- It is fine to use assembled materials or Open Educational Resources, so long as they're stable and publicly available as published textbooks (and not a list of links).
- All CSU and UC campus departments consider the content of textbooks when reviewing articulation proposals from the CCCs. The use of online texts is reviewed by campuses on a case-by-case basis for articulation with CCCs.
- There are multiple CCC courses that use online texts that are approved for CSU- and UC-transferability, and for articulation with CSU and UC campuses.
- Some CSU and UC campus departments use online texts themselves.
- ◾Nancy Purcille, Transfer Articulation Coordinator, University of California, Office of the President
- ◾Alison M. Wrynn, Ph.D., State University Associate Dean, Academic Programs, California State University, Office of the Chancellor
- CSU Affordable Learning Solutions
The Open Educational Resources (OER) Commons is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, ISKME, the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education created OER Commons as part of the Foundation’s worldwide OER initiative.