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Open Educational Resources: Introduction

Open Education

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research resources that are made freely available to users anywhere. They may include, but are not limited to, textbooks, readings, multimedia, software, assessment tools and even entire courses. Most are covered by licenses that allow using, remixing and sharing.

Image: Open Access by Duke Innovation Co-Lab is licensed under CC0 at Noun Project.

What's in this guide

Looking for some OER or more information? Check out the following sections of this guide:

Why does OER matter to students and faculty?

Open Educational Resources make education more affordable for students and allows instructors to create more effective educational materials. Some things to consider:

  • Given the rising costs of textbooks, wouldn't students be more likely to succeed in a course if they can afford the textbook and materials an instructor selects?
  • As an instructor, if you think textbooks are not effectively meeting the local and specific needs of your students, you have the ability to create or adapt a text to meet these needs.
  • As textbook publishers transition to a rental model for e-textbooks, what are the implications for students who can no longer re-sell or pass on their old textbook to others?
  • Walk the walk. Show your students that open resources can be effective - not "you get what you pay for"

The 5 R's of Openness

OER 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.
  • 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).

From "Defining the 'Open' in Open Content and Open Educational Resources" by David Wiley

Creative Commons Licence

This guide, "Open Educational Resources", is a derivative of Open Educational Resources (OER) - A PrimerOpen Textbooks, and Open Educational Resources (OER) by Material Type, all of which are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.