The Software & Information Industry Association’s guide to OER can give educators background information to help them on their way to OER integration.
1. What’s the difference between resources?
- OER textbooks are usually downloadable PDF-based digital books
- Interactive digital textbooks use reading tools and additional media such as videos and animations, and they’re usually accessible online or downloaded onto a mobile device
2. Are all OER digital?
- Not all are digital–many are PDF-based that are printable
- Digital materials include traditional text- and graphic-based content but also can include embedded assessments and videos
3. Are OER free?
- While there can be costs associated with distributing and maintaining content and repositories, “open” means they are free to use, change and share
4. Are they free for students?
- Most are, but if the resources are integrated within a learning management system, or if they require supplemental materials, students might be charged to access those materials
5. Who creates OER and are creators paid?
- Anyone can create OER, and educators are among the top producers. Creators are typically not paid, although some higher-ed institutions might reimburse faculty or staff with stipends or grants
6. Who funds the resources’ creation?
- This can vary widely–funding models include a philanthropic model, public funds and venture funds