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Open Educational Resources (OER)
Open Educational Resources (OER) 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.
Since 2002, when the term Open Educational Resources (OER) first emerged, to today, OER has increasingly been recognized by the international community as an innovative tool for meeting the challenges of providing lifelong learning opportunities for learners from diverse levels and modes of education worldwide.
UNESCO, Open Educational Resources (OER)
What does the "Open" in Open Educational Resources mean?
The terms "open content" and "open educational resources" describe any copyrightable work (traditionally excluding software, which is described by other terms like "open source") that is either (1) in the public domain or (2) licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:
Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
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 material 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)
This material was created by David Wiley and published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at http://opencontent.org/definition/.
Creative Commons Licenses
When using OER it is important to pay attention to the Creative Commons license assigned to the item by the creator. These licenses specify what the creator is allowing others to do with their works.
Source: Northeastern Information Technology Services
Learn More About OER
is a self-paced online workshop. Upon completion of the workshop course participants will be able to: How to Use Open Educational Resources
Describe the meaning of open educational resources.
Differentiate the concepts of open licensing, public domain, and all rights reserved copyrights.
Identify resources that are openly licensed or in the public domain.
Distinguish the different types of Creative Commons licenses.
License works using a Creative Commons license.
Find open educational resources and properly attribute a work offered under Creative Commons license
Merlot is an open educational resource project from the California State University system that has over 5,800 open textbooks and a collection of other OER that include whole courses, open textbooks, small instructional modules, and more.
Openly Available Sources Integrated Search ( OASIS) is a search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. OASIS currently searches open content from 98 different sources and contains 368,237 records.
OER Commons is a digital public library and collaboration platform that offers a comprehensive infrastructure for instructors at all levels to identify high-quality OER and collaborate around their adaptation, evaluation, and use to address the needs of teachers and learners.
OpenStax is a nonprofit educational initiative based at Rice University. Launched in 2012, OpenStax publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, openly licensed college textbooks, in addition to low-cost, research-based courseware.
Open SUNY Textbooks is an open access textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries.
The Open Textbook Library provides a growing catalog of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks. The library is adminstered by The Open Textbook Network, which helps higher education institutions and systems advance the use of open textbooks and practices on their campuses.