Open Educational Resources

for empowering student success

Mark McClure - Mathematics

What is OER?

  • Open Educational Resources
  • Freely available educational materials
  • Modeled after the open source software movement - i.e. "free" as in speech

Examples in computing

  • The World Wide Web
    • From the HTTP protocol,
    • to the Firefox browser,
    • to Javascript
  • More programming languages and computational tools
    • C, Python
    • R, Sage, Jupyter

Traditional teaching tools

  • Textbooks
  • Online HW
  • Reference material - like Wikipedia
  • Presentation tools - Like this one!

How can OER empower users?

Let's not ignore the obvious


In just the Math/Stat department

  • 566 students could spend a total of $132650 for an average cost of $234 a book this semester.
  • 385 students are spending a total of $54000 for an average cost of $140 for access to online homework this semester.

According to new prices like this and this

How else?

Openness provides level of interactivity that the commercial model can't easily provide.

  • Like this
  • Teachers can write, modify, or appropriate materials
  • Students can get involved in development too

What resources are available?