Source: New England Board of Higher Education's OER webinar, 2019
*Technically, "open" is not strictly "free" -- there are still economic dimensions to consider, such as time commitments of contributors, resources, and uncalculated monies. Some "Open" content providers like the Open Education Network's Open Textbook Library (OEN, OTL) require paid subscriptions.
David Wiley presents some good information about defining "open" and provides the ALMS framework for ensuring that technical choices -- just as much as unrestrictive license types -- make material open. For a basic, text-based example, publishing in an un-editable PDF presents technical/formatting challenges beyond the restrictions an open license may mitigate. Google Docs may be editable, but one must have a Google/Gmail account (and accept the inherent Big Brother concerns); Microsoft Word may be a fairly basic, universal format, but the Microsoft Office Suite of products can be cost-prohibitive.
Introductory text here
Source: https://HowMuch.net/articles/price-changes-in-usa-in-past-20-years, compiled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
There's a misconception that I think it's good to shine a light on: traditional textbooks, with their glossy pages, color graphics, and hardcover bindings are believed to be of inherently better quality than non-traditional textbooks. "You get what you pay for." But is that always true? Sure, some off-brand peanut butter tastes positively foul compared with some name-brands, but haven't studies also found that mid-priced wines and fancy wines are often indistinguishable in flavor, even by purported connoisseurs? These two articles make this point admirably (1: There's what you assign, & then there's what they read; 2: On quality & OER). Moreover, it's been a common thread in academia for years that traditional textbooks have their share of problems, so even if Open resources aren't perfect... well, neither are traditional materials!
Source: Leveraging OER during COVID-19 webinar (June 22, 2020)
Unlike traditionally copyrighted material, OER can be used (and reused, and edited!) far more liberally. This graphic from LumenLearning shows the Five R's that are allowed under Creative Commons Licensing:
The purpose of Adams State's Open Education Initiative is to provide more affordable educational resources for our students, to empower student learning and faculty instruction, and to provide the best education possible to our diverse and underserved community. Any means by which we accomplish these goals are valued and appreciated.
The adoption of Openly-licensed content is not the only way to save students money; Affordability options like Course Reserves, use of library databases and eBooks, use of publicly-accessible newspapers or websites, or use of Open Access materials are all valid and valued ways of saving our students from struggling to pay for course materials.
The purpose of this Research Guide (LibGuide) is to compile as many useful resources as possible for both ASU affiliates and others interested in the Open Education movement. It will never be entirely comprehensive, but it should prove a useful resource for the campus for finding information. The guide is broken down into the following pages:
Home (definitions and purpose)
About (FAQ, History, Misconceptions/Myth-busting, Organizations & Partnerships, etc.)
Zero-/Low-Cost Courses at ASU (List of courses students can take to save money)
Locating Open Resources (some repositories & referatories for finding open content)
Affordability: Using Nielsen Library Resources (some suggestions for other cost-savings options)
Licensing & Attribution (Creative Commons Licenses, giving attribution for use of open content)
Adopting, Adapting, Evaluating Open Content (rubrics, accessibility information, and Fair Use Best Practices)
Impact of OER (our unique needs, DEI collaboration, and testimonials from ASU students)
Authoring & Publication (tools for creating open content and distributing it)
Impact & Scholarly Research on Open (local data, video resources, and scholarly articles on Open)
Scholarly Research on Open Education (webinars, articles, webcasts, videos)
Grants & Funding (financial support avenues for course redesigns or open adoption)
SPARC Open Education Leadership Program (background on SPARC and Capstone resources)
Grants & Funding (where to get financial support Colo. Dept. of Higher Ed, ASU Campus funds, etc.)
Open Pedagogy (approaches to education that use -- and create -- open content)
Contact ASU's Open Ed Committee (campus contact information for local support)
Other LibGuides and Outside Resources (links to more information)