Affordable/Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources (OER) are materials that are freely and openly licensed for use in teaching, learning, research and other purposes. One of the most commonly cited definitions follows:

OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. (The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation)

 Affordable educational resources (AER) are materials are those that offer access to students for lower costs than traditional publisher texts, often at $40 or less per course. AutoAccess is a collaborative program between the UMSL Triton Store, faculty, and publishers that provides required materials automatically when a student enrolls in the course--at a reduced cost. For more information, contact the bookstore.

A/OER System Initiative

The UM System Affordable & Open Educational Resources (A&OER) initiative works to enhance the use of affordable and open educational resources at the university. The A&OER Taskforce, comprised of faculty, students, librarians, instructional designers, and the system bookstore was created in the summer of 2017 under the leadership of President Choi. For more information, visit the System Website.

Why Adopt OER Materials?


On Open Pedagogy

Open pedagogy is a practice which uses the 5R activity framework to design lessons and assessments that encourage students to improve or create course content. With open pedagogy projects, students are empowered to engage in information creation through non-disposable or renewable assignments. The student is both creator and contributor of assignments that are openly licensed, allowing the content to be shared, revised, and reused by future students in a course.

Simply put, open pedagogy involves creating assignments that involve students creating things that others can revise and reuse, that add value to the world beyond the course.

(From the Tacoma Community College Library OER Guide, licensed under CC BY SA 4.0)


More information can be found in the UMSL OER LibGuide, or by browsing the rest of this site.