Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Open educational resources (OERs) are teaching, learning and research resources that can be freely retained, reused, revised, remixed and redistributed.

OERs have saved more than 26,000 UGA students approximately $2.7 million in textbook costs since fall 2013.

“The reading materials for this course were AMAZING.  I’m not just saying that because I didn’t have to pay for a textbook (although that was nice) but because I could be certain what I was reading was both relevant and the best source of information for the topic we were discussing. I was extremely grateful for this form of reading.” - EDUC 2120 student, Spring 2015

"Open educational resources” (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open copyright license that permits everyone to freely retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute them. OERs include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, journal articles, and any other tools or materials used to support learning. 

The University of Georgia is actively engaging in the promotion and adoption of OERs by providing faculty members, especially those who teach large enrollment courses, such as those included on the University System of Georgia Top-100 Undergraduate Enrollment list, with resources and assistance to transition away from expensive textbooks to open education resources.  Since the OER initiative began in 2013, OERs will have saved UGA students approximately $2.7 million in textbook costs by the summer of 2017.

Courses Using OERs at UGA

In response to the challenges students face due to the collective costs of attending college, the CTL and other groups on campus have been working to reduce textbook costs for students. Many large, core courses have been involved in this adoption to significant cost savings since 2013.  These implementations have been supported by CTL Learning Technologies Grants and external funding from the University System of Georgia, Affordable Learning Georgia, and a CTL partnership with Rice University resulting in a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Next Generation Courseware Grant.

"The instructor realizes that not everybody can afford a textbook, so she is giving everybody an equal opportunity to succeed." - HIST 2111 student, Fall 2014


Course

Term

Number of Students

Cost Savings
BIOL 1103/1104* 2013 - 2014 2,030 $200,000
  2014 - 2015 2,030 $200,000
  2015 - 2016 2,030 $200,000
  2016 - 2017 1,150 $112,700
HIST 2111/2112* 2014 - 2015 1,030 $70,000
  2015 - 2016 1,030 $70,000
  Spring 2017 1,100 $74,800
PEDB 1000(+)* 2014 - 2015 4,500 $135,000
  2015 - 2016 4,500 $135,000
EDUC 2120** 2014 - 2015 100 $15,000
  2015 - 2016 120 $18,000
  Fall 2016 90 $14,850
EDUC 2110** 2015 - 2016 120 $12,000
  Fall 2016 120 $9,000
PSYC 1101* 2015 - 2016 900 $210,000
  Fall 2016 300 $46,320
SOCI 1101* 2015 - 2016 150 $17,250
  2016 - 2017 470 $47,000
BIOL 1107* 2015 - 2016 450 $112,500
  2016-2017 1,020 $255,000
THEA 2000 2015 - 2016 146 $24,820
  2016 - 2017 93 $7,440
THEA 3290/ENGL 3650 Fall 2016 30 $2,400
CBIO 2200/2210 2015 - 2016 710 $175,000
  2016 - 2017 730 $179,580
CBIO 2200(L)/2210(L) 2015 - 2016 710 $187,000
  2016 - 2017 730 $191,990
    Total = 26,389 Total = $2,722,650

*Core courses included in Areas A – E of the General Education Core Curriculum

**Area F Core Courses for students in the College of Education

The OER Resource page has some tools to help you get started, or you may contact Dr. Sherry Clouser, CTL Assistant Director of Learning Technologies, if you have any questions.

News Coverage of OERs at UGA