Subject Guides

Open Educational Resources (OER)

This guide provides details about how the open access movement is impacting academic education and how to find appropriate low cost or zero cost materials for academic courses.

OER Course Designation - Information for Students

Binghamton University understands that in order for students to be successful in their academic pursuits, they must have access to books and other learning materials. A significant barrier to accessing these materials is cost. Binghamton University has designated a series of courses whose instructors have chosen to use low or no-cost open educational resources (OER.) Staring with the Summer 2021 schedule, a course listed as OER in the special attributes section of the Schedule of Classes designates that the class meets this criterion. 

OER Designation on the Schedule of Classes

Please see below for how students can search for OER course sections:

  1. Log on to BU Brain. 
  2. Click "Schedule of Classes"
  3. Select term if prompted
  4. Scroll down to Special Course Attributes
  5. Under Attribute Type select the "OER" option
  6. Click "Section Search" to see all sections using low or no-cost open education materials

OER Course Designation - Information for Instructors

Open Educational Resources (OER) Course Designation Application is available online

This application is for designating a course as an OER course through the Binghamton University student information system. In order for a course to qualify as an OER course, a majority of the course content must be OER content. This designation will be visible to students on the Schedule of Classes starting in Summer 2021, so they are able to search for specific courses that use OER materials. 

OERs are educational materials that are distributed at no cost with legal permission for the public to freely use, share, and build upon the content.

The Hewlett Foundation defines OER as “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. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge” 

For questions concerning the application and designation process, contact Andrea MacArgel, director of instructional design services,, 607-777-5099.