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Open Education: OER Overview

A "getting started" guide overviewing open, editable, and lower-cost textbooks and open teaching & learning resources for faculty, students, and librarians.

Propose an openly licensed project

Do you have an OER creation, adaptation or adoption project which could use funding or technical assistance? Are you a Virginia Tech faculty member?  Please send your expression of interest to Anita Walz.

See helpful background documents here

Get Involved

Through a partnership with the Open Textbook Library and the VIVA Academic Library Consortium, the University Libraries at Virginia Tech are pleased to offer the opportunity for VT faculty to attend an Open Textbook Adoption Workshop and receive $200 for a written review of an open textbook. The workshop will next be offered on ____.  Register here NLI credit will be available. Contact Anita Walz with questions. 

The workshop covers:

- Open - what it is and what it isn't
- Open educational resources and open textbooks as a solution to student affordability issues
- OER as a tool for learning resource customization and pedagogical innovation
- Tools for faculty adaptation of open educational resources

Open textbooks may be selected from among the 500+ books in the Open Textbook Library. Virginia Tech faculty are welcome to contact Anita Walz for additional information.

The most recent Open Textbook Workshop was held December 6, 2018.

Why Open licensing? Why OER?

Encouraging the Ecology of Creativity (PDF from

VIDEO: Why Open Education Matters (2:27)

Why is the Open Source model compelling for learning and research?

VIDEO: Get Inspired [making education more affordable] (OpenStax)

VIDEO: Supporting Students to Succeed with Open Education (Lumen Foundation)

VIDEO: Open Source Cancer Research - TED Talk by Jay Bradner

Lengthier Background Reading

What are OER?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely and publicly available 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. They include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge."  - Hewlett Foundation

What can I do with OER?

Open content uses free license that grant users permission to:

Retain - Make, own, and control (download, duplicate, store, and manage)

Reuse - Use the content in a wide range of ways (in class, study group, website, video, anthology, in software)

Revise - Adapt, adjust, customize, or alter the content (translate, modify, reorganize, change formats)

Remix - Combine original or revised content with other material to create something new (mashup, anthology, package)

Redistribute - Share copies of the original content, your revisions or remixes (share publicly online, give a copy to a friend)

See also: Best practices for attribution of Creative Commons licensed works

This material is based on original work by David Wiley, and you can download, edit, and share the original for free under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license from:


At Virginia Tech: What are Open Educational Resources?

Currently featured Open Educational Resources

Short Readings about Open Educational Resources


All original content on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 3rd-party content including, but not limited to images and linked items, are subject to their own license terms. CC BY License


Applications due by invitation or November 15 & February 15. Open Education Initiative Faculty Grants support Virginia Tech faculty who are willing to create or adapt open educational resources. Application information


VIVA Virginia State-Wide Grants for OER/Course Redesign. $1,000-$30,000. Proposals due September 30, 2019. Awards announced December 2019. Further information  


DHSI funding (for Hispanic-serving institutions) from the U.S. Department of Ed


Federal (U.S. Department of Education) Open Textbooks Pilot Program Homepage

Open Education Librarian

Anita Walz's picture
Anita Walz
NEED HELP? Contact me!
Newman Library 422
Economics, Mathematics & Law Liaison
~ Open Education, Copyright, and Scholarly Communications Librarian~

OER Initiative at the University Libraries, Virginia Tech

The University Libraries' Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative aims to address the following question:

What can we do to improve student learning and faculty teaching materials to make them increasingly:

  1. Accessible - available in multiple formats, compatible with multiple devices, as well as ADA compliant;

  2. Affordable - ensuring that no student is excluded from access because of financial reasons;

  3. Quality - peer-reviewed, current, authoritative, usable/readable by the intended audience;

  4. Flexible/Adaptable - supportive of various faculty teaching and student learning pedagogies, across disciplines, and teaching approaches; 

  5. Engaging - encouraging efficacious and active student engagement with learning materials; and/or

  6. Innovative - adopting, where relevant, and teaching technical literacies. 

Open Textbook for Introduction to Business

Cover of Fundamentals of Business 

Introductory-level open textbook for Business (2016) 440+ pages, free, online and licensed CC BY NC SA 3.0. About this book. See the book. Print on demand (color | B&W)

About Authoring Open Educational Resources