Open educational resources (OER) are educational materials distributed at no cost and that have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-­purposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and other materials. For more information see the libguide Open Education Resources at Connecticut College or read our blog posts on the topic.

The Research Support & Instructional Technology team encourages and supports the use of OER at Connecticut College. Use of open educational resources will enable students to have access to more dynamic learning tools and a richer academic experience at a cost that will ease the financial burden of our students, encourage full participation and help them thrive academically.

  • Lowering the total cost of education. Using OER materials instead of costly textbooks reduces educational costs. This program will support Connecticut College’s strategic priority toward financial strength and exploring new ways to make a Connecticut College education affordable.
  • Improving retention and recruitment, especially among underrepresented groups. Studies have shown increased student retention and student success using OER. OER improve final grades and increase retention rates for Pell recipient students and underrepresented groups. OER address affordability, completion, and attainment gap concerns.
  • Creating opportunities for pedagogical innovation. OER and Open Pedagogy are opportunities for pedagogical innovation and improvement. OER can be tailored and improved locally to fit the needs of students, and allows opportunities for student participation in the process of OER creation.
  • Expanding academic freedom. OER expand academic freedom, giving faculty copyright-free options to produce personalized learning materials to meet the specific needs of our students at our institution. Faculty are untethered from the rigid structures and content produced by publishers.

If you have questions or are curious about OER options, contact Ariela McCaffrey, Research Support & Outreach Librarian.