Business

Why Choose an OER?

Open Educational Resources have 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.

In addition, OERs give faculty the ability to customize course materials, creating the “perfect” 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.

Feldstein, A., Martin, M., Hudson, A., Warren, K., Hilton, J., & Wiley, D. (2012). Open textbooks and increased student access and outcomes. European Journal of Open, Distance and ELearning

Freely accessible textbooks, generally accessed online. Open Textbooks are part of the larger Open Educational Resources model, an effort to make high-quality learning materials freely available in electronic formats.

In general, open textbooks exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Developed by teams of authors, paid by academic departments or supported by grants.
  • Students pay nothing for online access, but may pay for print or specific electronic formats such as ePub.
  • Can be modified by the instructor or the students

An e-textbook becomes "open" when its copyright-holder grants usage rights to the public through an "open license," which typically includes the right to access and repurpose the textbook material at no additional cost. 

Learn more...Read EDUCAUSE's 7 Things You Should Know About Open Textbook Publishing

Collections of Business OERs

The items listed below link directly to the portions of databases containing materials relevant to Business.  This is not an exhaustive list so you may also want to explore the sources listed in the General Collections box to find additional resources.

Considerations/Criteria for Selecting OERs for Your Course

You'll likely find it useful to evaluate OER based on the same standards you use to evaluate other course materials. Here are a few criteria to consider:

  • Content: Does this OER cover what you'd like your students to learn in the course?
  • Accessibility: Is the content and reading level at the right level for your students? Is it challenging enough? Is the level of technicality appropriate for your course?
  • Use: Is the license open? Can you share, reuse, and remix the content freely? 
  • Quality: Is the OER peer reviewed? Can you read reviews from other instructors who teach courses like yours? Are errors corrected or noted?
  • Format: Does the material come in a format your students can access easily? Is special software required? Can the material be printed or purchased in print at a low cost?

Additional OER Selection Criteria/Rubrics:

General Collections of OERs

OER Case Studies