What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Open Educational Resources are free educational materials that reside in the public domain or have been released under a license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER include full courses, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other materials used to support access to knowledge. 

The Open & Affordable Education Committee is working to support OER and other affordable course materials at Iowa State. Our major contributors include representatives from the three offices below: 

Recent News

November 14, 2019

Libraries and bookstores have different approaches to purveying information that suggest a natural competition. One lends freely what the other sells. But the ISU Book Store and the University Library are on the same page concerning affordable course content.

October 25, 2019

Iowa OER, an action team composed of representatives from several colleges in the state including Iowa State University, has recently announced its first webinar in a new series for faculty and staff interested in Open Education: 

When: Friday, November 1st, 1:00 pm-2:00 pm

Where: Online Conference Call via Zoom (shared on YouTube)

September 25, 2019

This year, 56 percent of all colleges and universities in the United States are using free textbooks from OpenStax in at least one course. That equates to 5,900-plus institutions and nearly 3 million students, according to the Rice University-based publisher of open educational resources.

September 16, 2019

Earlier in 2019, the University Library, in partnership with the ISU Student Government and the Open & Affordable Education Committee, asked students to share their experiences with textbooks. How do our students feel about the materials they use in their courses? How do the costs of textbooks affect their studies, and what cost-saving measures have they taken to navigate high costs?

August 22, 2019

In its second year, the Miller Open Education Mini-Grants program shifted even more of its focus to supporting faculty who are crafting original open educational resources (OER), though adoption is still supported across campus.