The Key Benefits and Challenges of
Using Open Educational Resources:
One Person’s Opinion
July 11, 2015
What is OER?
S According to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation -
S "OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that
reside in the public domain or have been released under an
intellectual property license that permits their free use and
re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include
full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks,
streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools,
materials, or techniques used to support access to
S Saves students money because these are free materials!
S Provides students resources from a number of well known educational
institutions ( i.e., MIT, Yale, Harvard) without having to attend them.
S High quality materials! Increases student retention of material presented.
S Sources are potentially more timely and up to date than existing textbooks.
S Provides a wide variety of materials that will appeal to all types of learners:
visual, auditory, kinesthetic.
S Easy for teachers to gain access to these materials – both plentiful and easy to
use as a result of Creative Commons licenses.
S It’s the moral thing to do – give everyone access to free education.
S Educating the world’s teachers, instructors and professors about the availability of
S Requires teachers to learn something new or change the way they are teaching
today. Hence, not every teacher will choose this option.
S Sustainability of the archives currently storing OER (in case of funding cuts or lack of
S Finding cost effective ways to translate these sources into other needed languages.
S Creative Commons licenses are completely non-revocable.
S Quality – You don’t want to wade through garbage to get to a gem. Rather you
should be able to expect them all to be gems if they are being offered to the public.