Open Chemistry Education Resources : Advantages and Disadvantages
This guide contains information about open educational resources for chemistry.
Advantages of OER
Aside from cost savings for students, benefits of using OER include:
- Expanded access to learning—OER can be accessed anywhere at any time.
- Ability to modify course materials—OERs can be modified to provide coverage only of topics relevant to a course.
- Enhancement of course material—text can be supplemented by multimedia content (e.g., videos, simulations) to support multiple learning styles.
- Rapid dissemination of information—OER textbooks can be updated more quickly than new editions of textbooks can be published.
- Continual improvement of materials—instructors can adapt existing OER materials for a class and make the modified version available for others.
- Draw attention to university faculty—releasing OER is publicity for faculty.
Disadvantages of OER include:
- Quality concerns—Some OER materials can be edited by any user, which could results in irrelevant or inaccurate information being included.
- Loss of copyright/intellectual property protection—OER creators do not have copyright or intellectual property protection and must be careful about what materials they make available.
- Technology issues—Some students may have trouble accessing online materials due to slow internet connection or may not have access to software required to use the materials.
- Sustainability issues—There is a lack of financial incentive for OER creators to maintain their materials.