Open Educational Resources & Affordable Course Content

Since 2012, Library Services at Delaware County Community College has worked to reduce the high cost of textbooks by working with faculty and administrators across the college on integrating open education resources and affordable course material into courses to reduce the barrier of material costs for our students.

The 2016 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey conducted by the Florida Virtual Campus’s Office of Distance Learning and Student Services offered key insights into the impact textbook and course material costs have on students. The first Key Finding from this survey was “The high cost of textbooks is negatively impacting student access, success, and completion.”1

Open Educational Resources (OER) “are high-quality, openly licensed, online educational materials that offer an extraordinary opportunity for people everywhere to share, use, and reuse knowledge. They also demonstrate great potential as a mechanism for instructional innovation as networks of teachers and learners share best practices.”2 This content can take the form of textbooks, designed courses, materials, and any other open educational material. While we strive to integrate open educational resources into courses, we also collaborate with faculty members on integrating affordable course content.

As we think about how we can implement the use of OERs into classes here at the College, it is important to think about creating a sustainable OER ecosystem. Please review Toward a Sustainable OER Ecosystem: The Case for OER Stewardship.

1.Florida Distance Learning Consortium. (2016). Florida student textbook survey. Retrieved from
2. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. (2011). Open educational resources. Retrieved from

Getting Started with Affordable & Open Educational Resources

The adoption of affordable or open educational resources at Delaware County Community College is to reduce barriers for our students in obtaining an affordable, high quality education. For those interested in adopting OER content but are unsure where to begin, Lumen Learning offers a good starting point. For those ready to jump into the deep end, continue onto the OER Discovery section to search, find, and begin adopting OER content. Regardless of where you are, get involved by transitioning to affordable course content & open educational resources into your courses today.  

Finally, don't overlook the range of sources available to you through Library Services. You and your students have access to a range or eBooks and articles through Library Services' subscription databases.  Please contact Louise Feldmann at or 610-359-5218  if you need help or have any questions.


Guide Acknowledgements

Michael LaMagna, Ed.D., is responsible for the initial creation of this guide and its content.