The Board of Higher Education adopted this definition of OER on October 2019: "Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.”
For more information on the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education OER strategic initiative, refer to their website.
The required instructional materials are provided online at no cost (i.e., free). An optional printed version and some supplementary course instructional materials may be available for purchase. This designation includes Open Educational Resources, No Cost, and Library Resources. Institutions may elect to separate the designation types to provide specificity to students. For this purposes of this guide, we have combined the types of no cost instructional materials.
To be designated as an OER/No Cost/Library Resources course/section, a course/section should use the following as the primary, required instructional materials for the course:
Note: If required material for a course/section cannot be evaluated using this OER marking criteria prior to registration, it should not be marked as an OER course.
The required instructional materials cost $50 or less.
To be designated as a Low-Cost course/section, the combined cost of the course/section instructional materials should be $50 or less. This marking is to designate those course/sections that use affordable instructional materials that do not conform to the OER/No Cost/Library Resources criteria.
This includes all required instructional materials (definition above).
The $50 (or less) threshold is based on the pre-tax retail price and is applied to all class sections regardless of the number of credits offered.
Consider the cost of new and also used, rented, and older editions of the required instructional materials.
A lecture course with an associated lab section should be coded together if lecture courses are integrated with lab sections (i.e., lecture and lab are simultaneously registered into a single course).