Open Educational Resources (OER)

What is Open Education?

Open Education is an attitude, a practice, and a method of learning and teaching that inspires inquiry, equal access to course materials, and sharing lessons and materials with the broader community (Community College Consortium for OER).  

What are OER & OEP?

To realize those objectives, OER (Open Educational Resources) refers to “teaching, learning and research materials in any medium — digital or otherwise — that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation, and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions” (UNESCO).  

Likewise, OEP (Open Educational Practices) refers to both the use of OER materials in addition to a dedication to “open pedagogy and open sharing of teaching practices — all with the goal of improving access, enhancing learning, and empowering learners” (National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education).

Why should I use OER?

Open Educational Resources:

  • contribute to CU Denver reaching its goal of being an equity-serving university, helping students engage in a participatory culture of learning.  
  • are completely free to all users, removing financial barriers to learning
  • are a high quality, sustainable, and dynamic form of relevant educational materials, updated constantly to meet changing circumstances and fix errors. 
  • are often co-constructed with students, which creates more investment in and engagement with, learning. 
  • encourages lifelong learning, as resources are easily accessible after a course is over
  • OER allows for Redistributive Justice (cost savings and accessibility for students), Recognitive Justice (representation of marginalized communities), & Representational Justice (who gets the privilege of telling the stories of marginalized groups) (Lambert, 2018).
  • OER helps decolonize the curriculum, ensures students can bring their lived experiences and voices into OER (Jasmine Roberts-Crews), and is an important contributor to UN Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Visit Auraria Library’s Open Educational Resources Page to learn more about OER.  

Connect with the Open Education Network (OEN)

CU Denver has a membership to the Open Education Network, which includes access to the following resources:  

Do you have any questions about making the most out of the OEN resources?

Contact a campus OEN delegate:  

  • Ronica Rooks: Ronica.Rooks@ucdenver.edu 
  • Jessica Critten: Jessica.Critten@ucdenver.edu

OER Committee

The CU Denver OER Committee is charged with recommending and implementing activities, tools, and incentives to promote OER's widespread adoption across campus. The OER Committee meets monthly to discuss the campus vision for OER, strategic plans, campus alignments, upcoming events, grants, presentation opportunities (e.g., conferences), and the progress of developing capacity for OER at CU Denver. In the first year, the committee will document the current state of OER on campus, finding opportunities to align with the campus's 2030 strategic goals.  

The committee aims to have representation from all schools and colleges at CU Denver. The 2022-2023 membership includes:  
  • Ronica Rooks (CLAS); OER Committee Co-Chair
  • Jessica Critten (Teaching Innovation and Program Strategy); OER Committee Co-Chair
  • Dennis DeBay (SEHD)
  • Miranda Egger (CLAS)
  • Richard Strasser (CAM)
  • Lois Brink (CAP)
  • Jiban Khuntia (Business)
  • Lucy Dwight (SPA)
  • Susan Stirrup (CEDC) 
  • Vacant (Auraria Library)

OER and Open Pedagogy Consultations

OER Consultations with Auraria Library  

Connect with Auraria Library to learn how you can start taking advantage of Open Education Resources (OER) for your courses.  

Open Pedagogy Consultations with Teaching Innovation and Program Strategy (TIPS) 

Interested in learning more about open pedagogical practices and how to incorporate them into your courses? Sign up for a 30-minute consultation with a TIPS instructional designer. No experience with open pedagogy is needed!  

2023-2024 OER Course Grant Recipients


  • Dennis Debay (SEHD) 
  • Thomas Duster and Katharine Kelsey (CLAS) 
  • Linyue Gao (CEDC) 
  • Eric Jewett (CAM) 
  • Yaning Liu (CLAS)
  • Robert Metcalf (CLAS) 
  • Jiayue Cecilia Wu (CAM)

Division for Teaching Innovation and Program Strategy (TIPS)

CU Denver

City Heights/Learning Commons

1191 Larimer St

3rd Floor Learning Commons

Denver, CO 80204


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