What You Need to Know Now — Affordable and Open Educational Resources at Mizzou

Danna Wren, Director, Educational Technologies

What is A/OER?

Affordable and Open Educational Resources (A/OER) encompasses several types of resources used in MU courses:

  • Affordable Educational Resources (AER): Defined as $40 or less for the course materials for the course. An example would be many of the e-books sold through AutoAccess.
  • Open Educational Resources (OER): 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. An example would be an open textbook available from a repository such as OpenStax.
  • Free Resources: no cost to the student, but are paid for by the university An example would be books or journals that the libraries have in their collection.

What is Happening with A/OER at Mizzou Now?

While it is completely up to the instructor to determine the best materials and content for their course, staff members at the Mizzou Store are reviewing every book adoption that instructors submit and notifying them of alternative affordable or open options where they exist. There are currently 140 courses using AutoAccess and seven courses using OER for Spring 2018.

The MU Campus task force and operations groups have been working to plan support services and build awareness around the initiative throughout campus.

How do I adopt A/OER?

One of the challenges is that A/OER can be difficult for instructors to find, create or implement. To assist with this, departments that support A/OER have created an A/OER website – http://oer.missouri.edu. It contains helpful information, contact info, and resources to help you determine what materials might best fit your course.

You can also contact Grace Atkins (atkinsge@missouri.edu) from MU Libraries, Dale Sanders (sandersdb@missouri.edu) from the Mizzou Store or Danna Wren (Danna@missouri.edu) from Educational Technologies for assistance. We’re happy to help you or to present on A/OER at any events or meetings that you might have. In addition, there is funding available from the UM System A/OER Initiative to help faculty members adopt, adapt, create, or review A/OER. The applications for these funding opportunities are available at https://www.umsystem.edu/ums/aa/oer.

What do I need to do after adopting A/OER?

Inform the Mizzou Store about what materials you are using every semester as they are tracking adoption of AutoAccess and A/OER across the university. That way, the campus can show how much money it has collectively saved students!