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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Creating OER's

Adopting OERs

When an instructor adopts an OER, they use an OER as-is in their course to replace high-cost materials.

Adopting an OER means that an instructor is integrating Open Educational Materials into their courses without significant revisions, similar to adopting and integrating any new textbook into an existing course. The difference here is that when adopting OER, there is no publisher support.

The work of adopting OER includes creating or finding supplementary and ancillary materials for students. There are many resources online you can adopt and adapt, but this is added onto the work of finding and evaluating an OER textbook for a course.


Adapting OERs

The term adaptation is commonly used to describe the process of making changes to an existing work. Though we can also replace “adapt” with revise, modify, alter, customize, or other synonym that describes the act of making a change.

In addition to cost to students, one of the biggest advantages of choosing an open textbook is it gives faculty the legal right to add to, adapt, or delete the content of the textbook to fit their specific course without obtaining permission from the copyright holder. This is possible because the copyright holder has already granted permission by releasing their work using an open — or Creative Commons — license. This type of license gives users permission to use and reuse, share, copy, retain and modify the textbook without consulting the author.


"Definition of Adapt" is a chapter in the Adaptation Guide by BCcampus and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Information adapted from the Open Educational Resources: A Primer guide by Jennifer Schaller