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Open Educational Resources for Faculty

Information about OER for faculty

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

OER Brand

What is OER?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are free online teaching and learning materials. They include textbooks, quizzes, videos, learning modules and more.

On the occasion of Open Education Week (the first week in March), we have created this guide to help raise awareness of an important issue affecting our students: textbook affordability and the existence of open-access alternatives.

Why use OER?

OER has been shown to increase student learning while breaking down barriers of affordability and accessibility. Feldstein et al. (2012) conducted a research study at Virginia State University, where OER were implemented across nine different courses in the business department. Researchers found that students in courses that used OER more frequently had better grades and lower failure and withdrawal rates than their counterparts in courses that did not use OER.

  • According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 in 10 students didn’t purchase a textbook because it was too expensive.
  • One in five college students has skipped or deferred a class due to the price of the required learning resources.
  • The cost of textbooks is rising at a rate of 4 times inflation.
  • 60% of students have delayed purchasing textbooks until they’ve received their financial aid.

OERs give faculty the ability to customize course materials, creating a tailored course packet or textbook instead of being bound to a traditional one-size-fits-all model. Customization gives faculty control over the quality of their course materials as well as the type and timing of updates to textbooks and other resources.

Adapted from Pennsylvania State University

Contact Daina Dickman, Scholarly Communication Librarian, or your subject librarian for information on OER materials for your classes and subject area.

What are Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$)?

ALS Brand

What is AL$?

CSU's Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) is a program that enables faculty to choose and provide more affordable, quality educational content for their students. By reducing CSU student course material expenses, more students acquire the educational resources they need to succeed at CSU. With AL$, faculty and students have greater access to quality free and lower-cost learning materials through a variety of programs and partnerships. 

Sac State's Center for Teaching and Learning coordinates campus-wide OER efforts. Contact De-Laine Cyrenne for more information. CTL can help faculty achieve the following goals:

  • Allow faculty, staff and students easy access to find low-cost or free textbooks and course content.
  • Recognize the efforts of faculty to reduce costs for students.
  • Share and learn from other CSU faculty about OER and AL$ efforts.


AL$ Resources

What Do Students Think About Textbook Costs?


Images with Sacramento State student responses from Open Education Resources Week 2020.

Last Updated: Jul 29, 2021 4:52 PM