UNESCO provides this definition: "Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with intellectual property licenses that facilitate the free use, adaptation and distribution of resources." This means that OER are freely available online for anyone to use, reuse, and share. Most creators share their OER under Creative Commons (or similar) licenses. Under these licenses, creators keep copyright ownership but let users copy, distribute, and remix the OER for their own purposes.
OER range widely in purpose and type. Common examples of OER include:
- Learning activities
- Tests or quizzes
- Zero cost – OER are free to access, reuse, and share with your students
- High impact – OER are available worldwide
- Less duplication of effort – No need to write your own textbook on the same subject
- Customization – You can mix, match, and customize OER to the needs of your class
- Up-to-date Content – OER can be easily revised as new information arises
Find some examples of OER in your discipline. Could any of these fit into your course? Remember – you don’t have to use just one. You can mix and match as you need!
Need help? Contact your Subject Librarian.