Getting Started with Open Education Resources for Faculty Members

OER banner with a variety of formats illustrated

What Are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Teaching, learning, and research resources released under an open license that permits their free use and repurposing. OER can be textbooks, articles, videos, software, slide decks, lesson plans, tests, activities, labs, etc.

  • YU Library resources can supplement and be used in tandem with OER as they are freely accessible to students.

Why Adopt OER?

Adopting OER presents an opportunity to customize your courses and enable equal access to learning for your students.

  • Since OER can be revised and reworked, it's possible to create customized resources that fit your specifications, learning objectives, etc.
    • You can teach exactly what you want and how you want to teach it.
    • No conforming to a framework from a textbook publisher—you control the content used and content repurposed, ergo you control the framework.
  • Enable all students to have equal access to course materials.
    • Students will have their course materials from day one; no delay in learning or need to play catch up later.
    • As the cost of textbooks has exponentially grown year after year, more and more students try to do without—OER curbs that.
  • OER adoption can increase student performance and decrease students dropping or withdrawing from your class.


I taught MAR3720 Marketing Capstone in spring 2021 and worked with Head Librarian Sandra Moore to identify open educational resources (OER) to achieve a zero-textbook-cost (ZTC) course. After a careful analysis of the syllabus, Sandy demonstrated skill in identifying highly relevant resources. Not only did this reduce my students' expenses for the semester; it also introduced multiple voices and perspectives that enriched course content considerably. I'm able to update sources as needed based on the strategy we adopted.

Tamar Avnet, Professor of Marketing and Chair, Marketing Department, Sy Syms School of Business
Professor Avenet was the first YU faculty member to participate in the OER/ZTC Pilot Program.