Using OER

Using OER

Here are options to consider after you’ve located some openly licensed materials that you’d like to use to replace or supplement your textbook. Make sure to get to know the open licenses before you proceed working on your selections.

Using OER “As-Is”

You can adopt an open textbook as-is in exactly the same way that you adopt a traditionally published text. You report your selection to the bookstore as you normally would and stipulate that the text is ONLINE. Follett will order print copies of your book if you prefer but students would have to pay for print copies from the publisher plus Follett’s markup. You’ll need to decide if asking students to pay up to $50.00 for a printed copy of an open book is a good value. Most faculty who use OER let students make the decision about printing as all OER books allow users to print the whole book, chapters, or sections.

Modifying Existing OER

Faculty can adapt (Remix/Reuse) open educational resources to fit their course objectives and their students’ needs. Open licensing gives you advance permission to make changes, and share your new version unless the license stipulates that no derivatives are allowed. If no derivatives are allowed, you likely have a good fair use justification to modify the open materials–taking close care to not share them beyond your own classroom.

When you use openly licensed content or works from the public domain, you must create an attribution statement to acknowledge the source of the work (and make it easy to find again). An easy way to do this is to use Open Washington’s Open Attribution Builder.

For step-by-step instructions on importing and editing common open textbook file and platform types, see the guide Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know.

Here’s a video that provides an overview of the process of remixing OER and creating a new work: