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OER in PreK-12 and Higher Education Classrooms

From textbooks to integration with digital learning systems, Open Educational Resources (OER) are becoming more prevalent in both the PreK-12 and Higher Education classrooms. OER are teaching, learning and research materials in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that they are released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use. Anyone can legally copy, use, adapt and re-share them freely without compensating the creator or rights holder.

While this may come as a surprise to some, educational publishers and learning companies are integrating OER within their products and supplemental materials. Educational resources for the classroom come from a range of sources and it’s ultimately up to institutions, departments and instructors to sift through the many available options and determine which resources are best for each particular classroom and course.

Whether developed by commercial publishers, non-profits or individual educators, the quality of OER are dependent on a wide array factors. Educators should consider both how the materials are developed (i.e. have they been peer reviewed?) to how they are being used (i.e. how they are adapted and integrated to make them contextually relevant?).

To help support the selection process, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) developed resources to help educators identify the best materials for their classroom. We’re sharing these resources under a Creative Commons CCBY license to encourage sharing, and remixing the information.

What is OER FAQ: If you’re looking for more information about OER and who creates it, we have a FAQ to answer a number of questions.

Choosing Quality Classroom Materials for K-12 & Quality Assurance Checklist for Instructional Materials: This overview and stand-alone checklist are designed to help instructors evaluate the quality of course materials that they’re considering using. There’s a strong focus on best practices used during product development. 

Selecting Quality Course Materials & Quality Assurance Checklist for Higher Education: This overview and stand-alone checklist poses questions that faculty may find helpful in determining whether a particular OER resource would work for their course.