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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Definition of OER

"Open educational resources (OER) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes." — Creative Commons

OER Rights

  1. Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  2. Reuse - the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend) 
Infographic of the 5 Rs
The above image is from "Open Education: A 'Simple' Introduction" by David Wiley and is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Open Access and OER


This FAQ includes content that is adapted from SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). Read their publication, OER Mythbusting, to learn about these facts in more detail.


Open Educational Resources at CSI


This series of slides will introduce you to the basics of Open Educational Resources (OER) and its implementation at the College of Staten Island.

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What are OER?

"Open educational resources (OER) are free and openly licensed educational materials."

Creative Commons

Learn more about OER!

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Student cost savings by year

2017-18: $346,548.80

2018-19: $587,885.70

2019-20: $498,682.55

Learn more about CSI and CUNY's OER initiatives.

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Total cost savings

Since starting the OER initiative in 2017, CSI students have saved a total of $1,433,187

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Beyond cost savings

The benefits of OER are not limited to financial benefits and include faculty engagement, student success, social justice, flexibility, accessibility, enrollment, retention, and completion, and open pedagogy.

Browse existing research on OER.

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The student perspective

"The cost of textbooks really plays a huge role in my success in the class. ... [OER] is really changing the way I am studying and improving my success in the class." - Blossom Akagbosu, 2019 Student government senator

From November 2019 symposium, "Conversations about OER, OA, and Open Pedagogy"

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The student perspective

"As long as ... professors advocate for these students and advocate for [OER], students will have a much better and easier time navigating through their college experience." - Maxwell Velikodny, 2019 Student government senator

From November 2019 symposium, "Conversations about OER, OA, and Open Pedagogy"

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Benefits for faculty

Faculty benefit from OER in myriad ways. Some examples are:

  • Pedagogical freedom: Faculty are able to customize learning resources to their students' needs
  • Students have access to the texts from day one
  • Higher course enrollment and retention

Browse the existing research on OER.

faculty quote. text below.

"As faculty, we should be really concerned with the idea that we’re teaching a class and the students aren’t taking it just because of the textbook." - Anne Hays, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Library Instruction

From November 2019 symposium, "Conversations about OER, OA, and Open Pedagogy"

map of CSI departments that use OER

The following departments have used OER in their courses:

Division of Humanities & Social Sciences: Anthropology, Core, History, Library, English, French, Political Science, Psychology, Media Culture; Division of Science & Technology: Astronomy, Biology, Physics; Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business: Finance, Economics, Management; School of Health Sciences: Social Work

View textbooks used by our departments.

Check out our collection of virtual labs and simulations.

Where to find more info. Text below.

Find out more!

Browse our OER guide.

Contact, Emerging Technologies Librarian and OER Coordinator