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The William and Flora 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.” Northern Virginia Community College’s NOVA Online encourages the development, adoption and use of high-quality Open Educational Resources (OER) and other reliable free digital course materials where appropriate.
If you want to take an online course that uses OER, look for the Digital Open designation in the online course schedule when you are registering for courses to find the specific course sections that use free/OER materials and do not require traditional textbook purchases.
A growing number of courses at NOVA are utilizing freely accessible, high-quality, openly licensed educational materials commonly referred to as Open Educational Resources (OER). These educational materials may include modules, textbooks, streaming videos, software, and other tools, materials, and techniques used to support access to knowledge.
The online courses that use OER are designated as "digital open courses" in the course notes. This designation means that the purchase of textbooks is not required because the course materials being used for the course are free and accessible to all students enrolled in the course.
NOTE: Not all online classes and sections in these subject areas are digital open courses. Look for the following information in the course notes: This is a digital open course. No textbook purchase required.