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Affordable and Open Educational Resources (A&OER): Student FAQs


East Central College

Affordable & Open Education Resources

Frequently Asked Questions for Students

What is A&OER or Low Cost Material?

Affordable & Open Educational Resources (AOER) 

OERs are teaching, learning, and research resources that are copyright-free or have been released under a license that permits others to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute them. Our approach is to utilize free resources when possible and, if not, then we will seek lower cost and affordable course materials. Affordable is a textbooks that costs $50 or less in digital and/or physical format.

Do I need internet access?

Most AOER content requires students to have some access to the Internet since online is where most of the content is stored. However, students do not necessarily need Internet access at home or on their digital devices. For students who do not have internet access at home, it is recommended that they use a downloaded copy.  However, not all resources can be downloaded.  Please see your instructor.

How Can I Print my OER Text-based Materials?

There are various options for students to consider when looking to produce physical copies of their text-based A&OER.  Please talk to ECC Bookstore or your instructor about options.

Why is my instructor using them?

Your instructor may have decided to use A&OER content for several reasons.  Faculty, like students, have become concerned about the significant rise in the cost of textbooks and see A&OER as an opportunity to provide rich learning content for students.  Faculty also make use of A&OER content because they find A&OER to be great quality content made often by people they know or by individuals who teach and work in the related fields of study.  Finally, faculty may also choose to use A&OER to help make the course current and fresh.  Rather than relying on a book which might have old examples or references, faculty appreciate the flexibility to find newer content for their students.  

How can I find which courses use an A&OER?

Many courses in the course schedule have a note regarding A&OER textbook is used.  The Library also has a guide with courses listed.  Please verify with the section number, instructor name and ECC bookstore for current information.

Where will the A&OER material will be located?

OER course material will be located in the course on your ECC online learning/ Canvas

Can A&OER be accessed on a tablet or mobile device?

Yes, OER can be accessed on any device that uses Canvas.

Are Affordable & Open Educational Resources quality textbooks?

Many A&OER, especially open textbooks like those created by OpenStax, are developed through rigorous production and peer review processes that mirror traditional methods. After production, A&OER can be updated, tailored, and improved locally to fit the needs of students.

Where do I go for more information about A&OER?

You may ask your instructor, the bookstore staff and/or the library staff.