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Open Educational Resources

A guide for instructor basic understanding of Open Educational Resources (OER), including how to find, evaluate, use and adapt OER materials for their own curriculum.

MSSU OER webpage here!

Develop and use Open Educational Resources (OER), achieving at least a 30% adoption rate of subscription and/or free academic learning materials in classes by 2023.


The MSSU 2018 – 2019 Strategic Strategy sub goal (2.c) initiative seeks to facilitate training that will enable faculty and staff to create courses that adopt high quality and affordable academic learning materials by replacing proprietary textbooks with Open Educational Resources (OER).  Over the next five years the Open Educational Resource (OER) committee will lay the groundwork to achieve the institution wide strategic sub goal of implementing these resources with at least a 30% adoption rate across campus.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­


The committee met on January 25, 2019 to discuss how our campus will define Open Educational Resources so that we will be able to measure achievement of the stated sub goal (2.c) in 2023.  The baseline for achievement will be based on courses using Open Educational Resources and the cost savings initiative below will be measured beginning in the spring semester 2019.  The following definitions were developed by the committee:


  • No cost - Open Educational Resources –
    • 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. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge (Open Educational Resources. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation). The following courses are using Open Educational Resources:
      • History 110 (1 hybrid course) 
      • History 120(1 online and 1 hybrid course)
      • English 281


  • Low cost – Educational Resources ($40.00 or less per course)
    • the growing cost of higher education is a major issue for students, families, and colleges. Tuition has more than doubled over the past 30 years, and three-quarters of all graduates struggle with loan debt. MSSU has a current contract with VitalSource that uses a digital platform to distribute e-textbooks. The use of VitalSouce allows our institution easy access and ensures that students have the content they need for learning the first day of class at affordable prices. In most cases e-textbooks are offered at a fraction of the cost of a printed textbook. An example: the cost of the LE 225 textbook at a list price of $174.95 and is offered on VitalSource for $23.16. This service includes first-day access to the student without an access code.  The bookstore is involved in providing this option for the students.  The following courses are using Low-cost Educational Resources:
      • French 101, 102, 203 and 204
      • SOC 101
      • PSC 311
      • Business courses


  • Substantial student savings - Educational Resources (Vital Sources and publisher contracts)
    • E-textbooks with the benefits of rich, engaging digital content deployed within the BlackBoard Learning Management System.  This option provides substantial savings for the student (VitalSource and publishers)
      • PSY 201
      • SOC 354
      • PSC 120
      • RAD/HS 111


Subscription material - Educational Resources

  • Supplementary Materials – Free to MSSU members and subscribed by Spiva Library


To support the mission of the Missouri Southern State University and the educational needs of its constituents, Spiva Library provides various resources and services to meet the teaching, learning, and research needs of its faculty and students.


The library holds over one million materials, including print books, journals, e-books, e-journals, databases, multi-media, and microforms. Being part of the Federal Depository Library Program since 1967, the library acquires and provides access to government documents in a variety of formats. The Archives and Special Collections Department houses university archival materials and several renowned collections: Congressional papers of Gene Taylor; the papers of Dr. Arrell Gibson, a noted Western historian; and physical and digitized Tri-State mining maps and drill logs.


As a MOBIUS library consortium member for decades, Spiva Library provides its patrons with resources owned by over 70 academic, public, and special libraries in Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming,  Kansas and Texas. The library also provides and maintains multiple search engines for patrons to discover and access a wide variety of library resources through EDS (the discovery tool), SWAN (the library catalog), and MOBIUS (the consortium catalog), Journals/e-Books Finder, A-Z Database List, and OverDrive (a new MOBIUS audio and e-book platform).


Many of the proprietary resources, subscribed by Spiva Library, are freely available to MSSU faculty, students, and staff only. These library resources serve as supplementary and educational materials for instructors and students. They are instrumental in the development and deployment of courses that use Educational Resources as a cost-saving initiative for our students.


The MSSU Library and Distance Learning Department will provide technical and resource assistance to help faculty and staff re-design courses using the above avenues as they adopt approaches to improve teaching and learning.  This committee also recognizes the value of this endeavor as it contributes to student satisfaction and is a serious cost-saving initiative to aide each student as they embark on their academic endeavors at MSSU.


OER Examples:

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