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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

About OER

Open educational resources (OER) make learning accessible to all individuals from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Ontario Tech is dedicated to the exploration of and advocacy for OER to make learning more affordable for its students.

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash. A woman holding library books amid library stacks.

What Are OER?

Open Educational Resources, or OER, refer to any teaching and learning materials that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license, such as a Creative Commons License or GNU General Public License, that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution with no or limited restrictions. 

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OER can be full courses, learning objects, tests or any other tools, materials, or techniques for use in teaching, learning, and research. OER include:

  • Course Material
  • Open Textbooks
  • Videos
  • Lessons Plans
  • Software
  • Games

Incorporating OER into your courses in place of traditional resources may seem daunting. Learn more about the myths and facts of OER on this site.

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Attribution: OER Can Be is a derivative of the BCOER Poster by BCcampus, licensed under CC BY 4.0. Definition of OER is from UNESCO and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash. three men laughing while looking in the laptop inside room.

Why Use OER?

The power of OER lies in their accessibility. Not only do they remove financial barriers to access, they also invite a variety of uses and adaptations that benefit all learners. The benefits below work together to make OER integral to the growth and sustainability of equitable education. 

Benefits for Students

  • Cost Saving: OER offer affordable learning resources for students, at low cost or often with no cost. 
  • Developmental: Digital OER allow students to practice with various technology offerings, improving digital literacy.
  • Accessible: Many OER offer enhanced support for those with accessibility needs, including screen reader software support.
  • Flexible: By offering print and various digital formats, OER give students the flexibility to learn on any device at any time.

Benefits for Faculty

  • Flexible: OER give faculty the flexibility to select or modify the text to suit their context for their students.
  • Collaborative: OER can be created with colleagues, allowing for diverse perspectives to be included in the work.
  • Current: Being able to modify OER as needed allows faculty to add current research, personal research results, and correct errors without waiting for the next edition.

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Affordable Resources Beyond OER

Student affordability is just one reason to choose OER over traditional resources. There are many other high quality learning resources that cost little or nothing for students. While they are of minimal cost, these resources are typically not covered by Creative Commons licenses, and thus, have restrictions on their usage, including copying and editing. Affordable resources include:

  • Journal articles available on the Library website
  • Videos from free sites such as YouTube or Khan Academy
  • Open Access content from sites like Scholar Works

Choosing affordable resources is a great way to help your students. Be aware that access to free resources is not guaranteed - at any time, access to a resource may be lost or restricted to users who pay for the service.