• Check out our OER Trailblazers and learn how faculty at Iowa State are using open educational resources.
  • Student stories: watch our new video series on the student experience with rising textbook costs.
  • Check out our resources for students page for information, videos, and more!

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use. Generally, this permission is granted by the use of an open license which allows anyone to freely use, adapt and share the resource—anytime, anywhere. OER include full courses, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, test banks, software, and any other materials used in education. 

The Open & Affordable Education Committee at Iowa State is working to support OER and other affordable course content. You can learn about our other initiatives on our About Us page. Our major contributors include representatives from the three offices below: 

Recent News

January 9, 2020

This semester, in addition to our regular OER consultations, department presentations, and private training available, the Open & Affordable Education Committee will also be hosting a couple of workshops that may be of interest to you:

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?