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

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.

June 18, 2019

As a German Studies prof at the University of Waterloo, and someone who has a strong affinity to the humanities and liberal arts education, I wanted to explore how well the OER concept might work in a field like mine. I teach a lot of courses in cultural studies – cultural history, literature, film – that are open to all students, and which are tailored to the particular context of our university, our department, and the interests and aspirations of our institution’s students.

May 6, 2019

McGraw-Hill and Cengage, two major textbook publishers, announced Wednesday that they would merge, creating the second-largest supplier of textbooks and higher-education materials. Right now, five companies control about 80% of the textbook market and, if the merger is approved by regulators, that number could go down to four.

May 3, 2019

There's no single template for professional development that can be applied at every institution or in every context. But seeing the breadth of professional development approaches might inspire solutions or plant seeds for ideas that will bloom later. "Inside Digital Learning" examined three professional development programs: two for online instructors and one for incorporating OER into the classroom. Here's how they developed their models, and what they've learned in the process.