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Open Educational Resources - OERs

Find information about open educational resources such as open textbooks, open courses, images, Creative Commons, and more

What are OERs?

Open educational resources are free materials that are in the public domain or use a licence (Creative Commons) that establishes how they can be shared, remixed, or adapted. OERs can include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, n.d.)

What can I do with OERs? Why use them?

There are various reasons why instructors may want to start using OERs. OERs are openly licenced, meaning they can be used in class and distributed for free, reducing costs for students and potentially increasing retention; OERs are meant to be flexible (depending on the type of licence they have), so instructors have the option to use only a portion of a source, adapt portions of it, or remix it with another source; the open nature of OERs also provides alternatives for collaboration with other instructors and even with students in the creation of new and unique content. The possibilities are endless!

The 5 R's of Openness

  • Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  • Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  • Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

David Wiley, CC, March 2014,

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