Online resources may lie more in enabling our students’ learning experience than in saving time developing resources. The good news for teachers and students is that a new category of resources, open educational resources has emerged over the past several years, and some universities and teachers are finding that it can offer a lot of benefits when used effectively.

Although it is open, we need to ask ourselves as lecturers and student. It is really open? given that there are licensing that need to be follow before we access the information. We  must remember that OER are 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. If we start to infringe those  domains and intellectual properties and use information illegally, are we doing the right thing?

Advantages of OER

Open educational resources have helped provide developing countries like South Africa  with educational support. OER online materials and courses have served as educational resources for teachers. This content strengthens teachers knowledge and helps them impart what they have learned to the students. The rising costs of commercial textbooks have continued to outstrip inflation, adversely affecting access to higher education and student learning as students forgo buying textbooks altogether. Open textbooks can help alleviate the burden of textbook costs.

Disadvantages of OER

Again I want to mention the issue of rising prices of textbooks, as well as increase in interest rates make it difficult for students to buy them locally as well as internationally. Open Educational Resources are a hot topic in education. Students need ways to lower costs. Naturally, they look to schools to provide them with better solutions. In turn, many schools look to OER to help accomplish that goal.


In fact there is no course materials solutions that are perfect entirely on their own. OER can provide added benefits to a class, especially when combined with other materials to ensure a well-rounded, quality education. However, one of the biggest barriers to using OER is the lack of internet in some areas in South Africa. There solution is to call for companies that are providing broadband and fiber to work with colleges and universities to roll out internet to reach all the students.


ARE THERE ANY PROS and CONS IN USING OER? A deep reflection on open material.