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Open Access / Open Educational Resources

So...What are Open Access and Open Education?

book magic

Open access refers to content made publicly and legally accessible and freely usable and shareable. This designation takes many forms: research publications- like books, articles, and texts- software, data sets, and even media like video, music, lectures, or art. All of this has great value to education, professors and students alike! 

Open education then refers to those teaching, learning, and research resources created within the philosophy of open access. These materials, usually called open educational resources (OER), are aimed at reducing barriers to educational content and tools, and creating a wider and more robust pool of information available for all. 

"book magic" by bayek, used under FreeImages License.

To learn about open access more deeply, take a look at these sources:

What is Open Access? What is Open Education?
Peter Suber's Open Access Overview What is Open Education? (from The Open University)
"What is Open Access?" by Charles W. Bailey Jr. What is Open Education? (from
Why Open Education Matters (Degreed entry in the "Why Open Education Matters" video competition) Why OER? (from Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources)
Open Access 101 (video by Karen Rustad) Open Education Intro (video by Robin DeRosa)
Open Access Explained! (video by PHD TV) Open Educational Resources: Digital Materials for Today's Knowledge Ecology (video by Carl Blyth)

What are the benefits of open access?

  • Faster transmission of ideas
  • Greater visibility for authors 
  • Larger pool of sources for students/researchers
  • Helps to reduce inequalities in information access
  • Professors have access to current information
  • Access to academic research beyond a degree
  • Increases sharing amongst researchers


The videos below will quickly introduce the concept of Open Educational Resources and their importance in higher education.



Presentation Slides

To view the slides from the 2022 Welcome Back session, "Making an OER Idea An OER Reality", see the link below.

The 2021 Summer H.E.A.T. programming focused on Open Education Resources. Please see the links below for the full presentations