Frequently Asked Questions
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For questions:
Barbara Soots
OER and Instructional Materials Program Manager


Open Educational Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ - Scrabble title letters F-A-Q

What are the benefits of OER for educators, students and administrators?
The benefits include:

  • Equity of Access: OER have the capacity to provide equitable opportunities to access strong content materials for ALL students.
  • Cost shifting: By sharing and adapting educational materials, content acquisition costs can be cut dramatically, allowing schools flexibility to reallocate resources to support learning and teaching.
  • Freedom to update content: OER quality improves over time by enabling continuous adaptation and updating of learning resources. This improvement cycle gives districts more local control over their instructional materials and contrasts with traditional materials that typically have to be used by students until a new purchasing cycle.
  • Adaptable for personalized learning: OER create powerful opportunities by enabling educators to use, develop, share, and adapt quality OER to meet their students’ unique needs.
  • Leverage technology: As districts look to shift to a one-to-one computing environment, OER is a cost-effective way to provide digital content.

How would a school use OER?
OER may be used as entire courses, full units, lesson-plan components or supplemental material. Teachers also might be able to:

  • Download a textbook for print or digital display.
  • Display video and audio lectures.
  • Build and share lesson plans.
  • Access free books in the public domain.
  • Experience interactive simulations.
  • Explore game-based learning programs.
  • Gather and assemble resources like photos, sounds and diagrams.

Are OER only available in digital format?
No, many open resources may be downloaded in pdf formats and printed on a personal printer or in the case of OER textbooks, sent to a Print on Demand Service such as Lulu or CreateSpace.

How can these materials be evaluated for quality?
OSPI recommends the combined use of several instruments designed intentionally for the CCSS by CCSS developers and state/national curriculum experts.

Additional Questions
Frequently Asked Questions: OER for K-12 Educators
Communication Tools





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   Updated 7/25/2017

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