Open Educational Resources (OER) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes.


Open Education “…is the simple and powerful idea that the world’s knowledge is a public good and that technology in general and the Web in particular provide an extraordinary opportunity for everyone to share, use, and reuse knowledge.”
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation


What is OER?
“OER” is short for Open Educational Resource(s). SPARC defines Open Educational Resources as “teaching, learning, and research resources released under an open license that permits their free use and repurposing by others.”




Why OER?
Textbooks cost students up to $2,000 per year and the cost of textbooks rose at a higher rate than medical care costs, home prices, and even the consumer price index. However, OER isn’t just about free textbooks, it’s about social justice – opening up the possibility of a college education to diverse populations regardless of their socio-economic background.


OER at Bay Path University
The OER initiative will replace conventionally published textbooks and materials with low or no cost alternatives of equal quality and depth, significantly reducing materials costs for students while providing them with accessible, dynamic course content. For the first time since the 1960’s, textbook costs have declined – nearly 3% in the last six months. OER and low cost textbook adoption ARE making a difference.


In Fall 2017 alone, traditional and graduate students at Bay Path saved $52,816 in textbook costs. OER works!

OER Development Opportunity
We are excited to support the adoption of OER in your classrooms with support from the OER Coordinator, Hatch Library, and the CODL. In addition, we will award participating faculty a grant ranging from $250-1,000 based on the nature of their OER adoption.



Questions? Want to learn more?

Contact contact Hatch Library at 413-565-1376

OER Grant Opportunity
We invite all interested faculty, full-time or adjunct, to submit their information for a grant to replace their textbooks with low (under $40) or free alternatives. Grant amounts range from $250-$1,000 and will fall under three categories of OER Adoption (first come, first served):
Use an existing open or low-cost textbook, making few, if any, changes to the content. Ex: choose an OpenStax textbook with few modifications. Choose a $25 textbook in place of a $200 textbook.
  • Bay Path Example:
    All trad sections of PSY101 (Intro to Psychology) adopted OpenStax Psychology

    with few changes. (Approximately 5-10 hours of work – $250).

Use an existing open textbook or course, but employ remixing – altering the course content so it better fits student learning outcomes – by adding supplemental materials like articles, videos, and podcasts, and developing renewable assignments. Ex: take several chapters from an OpenStax textbook and rewrite or combine them with lecture notes developed for your class (via UMass Amherst).
  • Bay Path Example:
    All trad sections of HUM210 (Ethics) are using an open textbook but also worked with OER Coordinator to locate supplemental content like podcasts and videos and employ educational technologies with support with the Center for Online and Digital Learning. (Approximately 10-20 hours of work – $500-$750).
Faculty member creates course content where a high quality open textbook doesn’t exist (often the case for upper level and graduate courses). This includes researching, evaluating, and incorporating articles, audio, and video as well as writing or creating their own content like an open textbook or digitizing lecture notes. Employs concepts of backward design and OER-enabled pedagogy. Ex: write and publish an open textbook under a Creative Commons license, license and publish lecture notes with original assignments and assessment tools.
  • Bay Path Example:
    All sections HHS415/OTB304 (Play and Leisure in Health and Wellness) were conceptualized without a primary textbook. Instead students will be getting content from multiple eBooks in the Hatch Library collection, articles, videos, and original lecture notes and presentations. (Over 20 hours of work – $750-$1,000).
If you are interested in applying for this grant, please fill out and submit your course and contact information to Jodie Baker, jobaker@baypath.edu by clicking on the link below.

OER at Bay Path University Call for Proposals


Open Educational Resources at Bay Path are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.