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Affordable & Open Educational Resources (A&OER)

Use this guide to deepen your understanding of affordable and open educational resources and to find, evaluate, and integrate A&OER to support student success. 

Introductions to OER

Join the CCCOER Community

Levels of Use

1) Adopt - use an existing open textbook or other OER without making changes.

2) Adapt - modify an open resource or mix parts of several existing open resources.

3) Create - author your own textbook or other resource, and make it open. 

Levels of Openness

1) Truly Open

Free resources that can be used in whole or part. These may be public domain (copyright free) or have a CC (Creative Commons) copyright license that allows open use, including copying, modifying, use in course packs, etc. 

2) Free to use with restrictions

There are several levels of Creative Commons copyright permissions, some of which require that the resource be kept whole (not modified or remixed), include attribution, and/or include a link back to the source. TED Talks are an example of this. Always read the site's usage policy. 

3) Low cost to the student

This includes library resources or other materials paid for by the institution and  "OER" textbooks on a paid platform. Some institutions provide OER textbooks and subsidized printing, so they are free as e-books and low cost as hard copies for students. Library materials under copyright may or may not already be licensed for classroom use; fair use guidelines may apply. 

The 5Rs of Openness

The Open Education movement is built around the the 5 Rs of Openness,  coined by David Wiley.

  • Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  • 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)
  • Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • 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)  (David Wiley Blog)

Equity and Access

More Quick Start Resources

OER Legislation and Grants

Surveys, Initiatives, and Research

Textbook Affordability Surveys

Initiatives and Projects

Research and Articles

Policy and Advocacy

Webinars & Videos

Open Pedagogy

OER texts about Open Education

Remixing & Authoring Resources

Can I edit or change an open textbook I find in the Open Textbook Library?
Usually, yes. The vast majority of open textbooks have a Creative Commons license that allows for editing, adapting and making derivatives. 
The license says it’s okay. How do I edit an open textbook?
A lot depends on the file types the author or publisher has made available. You may need technical support from local staff at your institution. See the guide linked below for additional information.


St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000