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Open Educational Resources: Home

 

Open and Affordable Educational Resources

Questions?

Alison Moffat
Manager of Library Services
715.319.7336
Email Alison

Abby Brueggen
Instructional Designer
715.788.7209
Email Abby

Lori Weigel
Instructional Designer
715.788.7124
Email Lori

staff with student

Open Educational Resources (OER) and Affordable Educational Resources (AER) are no-cost and low-cost alternatives to traditional textbooks and other materials.

OER are free and openly licensed materials that can be revised, remixed, reused, redistributed, and retained, while AER are low-cost resources that may include library materials or vendor resources like eBooks or journal articles. Both OER and AER aim to reduce the financial burden on students, enhance student equity, increase persistence, improve completion rates, boost retention, and enhance student engagement

Northwood Technical College recognizes that the cost of textbooks often creates significant barriers to student learning, retention, and success. To promote equitable, accessible, and consistent learning experiences for all students, faculty are encouraged to adopt and use open educational resources (OER) and affordable educational resources (AER).

 

Testimonial

Kelley Kepler

Kelley Kepler
Communication Instructor
Program Director of the Communication Department

"The communication instructors decided to switch from textbooks to OER for all classes starting fall semester 2020. That timing, with the Covid pandemic going on, was not ideal, but I am so happy we made the switch!

The driving force behind my desire to go OER was that the textbook publishers were hard to work with. Publishing reps were constantly changing, so there was never a consistent point of contact, and it was difficult to get questions answered. The publishers didn’t seem to care much about small schools like Northwood Tech. Furthermore, the books we used had moved to an e-book only format, and there was no longer an option to buy the printed books. And, of course, the price of the books (or in our case, the e-books) was extremely high. It was just one more burden for our students. At that point, switching to OER looked like a very appealing option.

Making the switch was a challenge in terms of timing; Covid was a hard time for everyone. But it really wasn’t all that difficult. When I started exploring OER, there were so many good and free resources available for teaching writing and communication. It was just a matter of finding those resources and curating a collection of them. The communication instructors made a Blackboard page to share our favorite resources with one another. We also create many of our own resources that we continue to share with each other.

Now as we wrap up our fourth year using just OER, it’s interesting to look back on our journey. It may have started with a push to escape annoying publishers, but it’s really about our students. Our students appreciate not having to buy books for their English and communication classes. This one decision made roughly five years ago is saving students money in each class, semester upon semester. Students are saving money, while still enjoying relevant and quality learning experiences."
 

 

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