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Open Educational Resources (OER): Open Educational Resources

This libguide is designed to help students, faculty, and staff learn about and use Open Educational (OER) and Open Access resurces as well as Creative Commons and Copyright.


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Open Educational Resources (OER)


Open Education: Pedagogy that reduces barriers to learning, enables learners agency,  values transparency, and gives credits to others for their contributions, and utilizes public domains. 

Open Educational Resources: "Are freely and publicly available learning 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. They include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge." - Hewlett Foundation

Where do I find OER materials: OER Are available in many places. The most important thing that marks whether or not something is OER is a license that allows free use and re-purposing by others, or its status in the Public Domain status. OER may be used in part or as a whole. OER may be adapted, customized, or updated to fit your audience. NOTE: Citations of others' work are expected. Attribution for Creative Commons' licensed works are legally required. More information about citation and attribution.

How can I create and share my work as OER: Design your work based on intent to share and reusability:

1) Use your own or openly-licensed figures. Obtain explicit permission to reproduce 3rd party works under an open license within your work. Clearly mark the terms of use of all third-party works.

2) Mark your work with an open license. Release your work publicly under an open license. 1) Plan to publicly release your source in addition to the finished work to reduce barriers for others. 2) Have your work peer-reviewed.

3) Host your work in an open, archival repository and refractories like OER CommonsMERLOT, the Open Textbook Library, and those recognized by your discipline.


By Markus Büsges (leomaria design) für Wikimedia Deutschland. CC BY-SA 4.0  via Wikimedia Commons

Open Educational Resources are 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.


Open Educational Resources vs. Open Access. 

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely available online materials that anyone can use for learning and/or teaching. Examples are courses- including MOOCs (Massive Online Open Course), lectures, teaching materials, assignments and various other resources. OERs are available in many different formats compatible with online usage most obviously text, images, audio and video.

Anyone with internet access can access and use OERs; access is not dependent on location or membership of a particular institution. OERs are particularly useful for researchers, teachers and learners. Educational institutions and providers enhance their websites by creating and maintaining access to OERs and service providers such as iTunes USlideShareYouTube and Jorum  also have many OERs to offer. 

OERs use Creative Commons (CC) licenses to ensure that materials can be used in a wide variety of ways e.g. edited, remixed, enhanced and copied.

Open Access (OA) refers to freely available content permanently online such as scholarly articles and journals. These resources can be reused and there is some scope for alteration. OER, on the other hand, encourages remixing and redistribution of the resource and covers a much wider range of materials.



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Creative Common License

Creative Commons License
This work by Diana Moronta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

You may reproduce, reuse, or remix any part of it for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included. We encourage you to license your derivative works under Creative Commons as well to encourage sharing and reuse of educational materials. Note that linked content is covered by its own licenses.

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