Open Education Week 2019 – Resource Spotlight


What is an OER?

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost. Unlike fixed, copyrighted resources, OER have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights.”

OER Commons

Started by the Open Education Consortium in 2013, the goal of Open Education Week is to increase awareness and showcase the impact of open education on teaching and learning. 

Resource Spotlight – Cree: Language of the Plains/nēhiyawēwin: paskwāwi-pīkiskwēwin

With funding from the Government of Saskatchewan, University of Regina Press offers a number of open source books for free online. Cree: Language of the Plains is an educational resource, providing a broad range of learning materials that are easily accessible to Cree language learners.

This collection includes an updated and restructured Cree language textbook, audio labs, and a workbook. The language labs are also available as podcasts, search “Cree Language of the Plains” on your podcast app.

Impact of Using OERs

Student Cost Savings and Retention

  • OER adoption can reduce costs to students, which can lead to other benefits such as improved retention
  • Student-led #textbookbroke campaigns have brought textbook costs to the forefront of the OER conversation across Canada.
  • RDC Library’s “dual-mission model” for helping students mitigate textbook costs – OER integration in courses and the possibility of a textbook collection.

Institutional Reputation and Exposure

  • By participating in the OER Movement, the institution is raising its reputation and supporting innovation, while gaining exposure.
  • OERs that have institutional branding advertise the institution’s commitment to open education and demonstrate quality of teaching and learning.

Diversified Perspectives and Variety for Students

  • Can provide more up-to-date material than is available from print textbooks.
  • More voices from a variety of backgrounds are adding to OER development, making content more diverse.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

  • Open resources reduce barriers to access (e.g. availability, format, cost, etc.).
  • Many OERs employ Universal Design standards to ensure access for all learners.

Where to Start

Red Deer College Library OER Guide

Provides an introduction to Open Licensing, OER vs Open Access (OA) and where find OERs.


Sona Macnaughton, MLIS

403-343-4065 |

Dave Mucz, MLIS, MA

403-356-4963 |

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