OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.
For more definitions of OER, see the Creative Commons Wiki.
Source: The Review Project
There are many reasons faculty might choose to use OER:
Hoping to learn more? There have been multiple studies on faculty implementations, misunderstandings, acceptance of, and evaluation of OER. The Review Project has curated a number of empirical studies published in scholarly journals on the topic. Their general conclusion is:
Once adopted, OER provide the permissions necessary for faculty to engage in a wide range of pedagogical innovations. In each of the studies reported above, OER were used in manner very similar to the traditional textbooks they replaced. We look forward to reviewing empirical articles describing the learning impacts of open pedagogies.