Skip to Main Content

Open Educational Resources

Ask a Librarian

Sorry, we are currently offline.

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are classroom materials, like textbooks, that are created to be freely reused and modified. Most OER are either in the public domain or are licensed under a Creative Commons sharing license. OER are often created by educators and academics with grant funding.

"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

Why use Open Educational Resources?

  • Increase Equity – openly licensed educational resources are generally free or very low cost, reducing the financial strain on students.
  • Customization -- OER can be remixed, modified, and edited to suit course needs.
  • Improve Access to Information -- students can look at course materials before enrolling and retain access after the course is complete.
  • Copyright Questions -- OER provide clear rights to users eliminating the need to interpret fair use and copyright law.

OER should be free and allow the 5 Rs

  • RETAIN: the right to own and control copies of the original.
  • REUSE:  the right to reuse the content in multiple ways.
  • REVISE:  the right to modify or alter the content.
  • REMIX: the right to add to or combine the material with existing content to create something new.
  • REDISTRIBUTE:  the right to share copies, revisions, and remixes with others.