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Open Educational Resources

An introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) for students and faculty members who are interested in incorporating these resources into teaching and learning.

Open Educational Resources

This guide was created as an introduction to Open Education Resources for students and faculty members who are interested in incorporating new resources into teaching and learning.

What are Open Educational Resources?

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. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge." - The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Examples of OER include, but are not limited to:

  • Full courses
  • Course materials
  • Content modules
  • Learning objects
  • Collections
  • Journals
  • Textbooks
  • Software

Open License

What is an Open License?

  • Free: No cost to access online or to print
  • Open: Can be shared, are usable and re-usable

Images, graphics, music, and articles labeled "Open License" can be reused and repurposed by students & faculty members in presentations and assignments--without worry!

Is Free the Same as Open?

No. Free images, videos and other educational materials still have copyright limitations for reuse and sharing. For example, just because an eBook or video is free online, doesn't mean you have permission to embed it into your Blackboard shell. 

Resources are open for reuse and sharing when the author specifically gives you permission to redistribute to others, as well as remix and revise the material. These resources are known as Open Educational Resources(or OER)!