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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources

Definition of OER: "Open educational resources (OER) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes." — Creative Commons

OER Rights


The Five Rs of OER:

1. Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)

2. 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)

3. Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)

4. 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)

5. 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)                                                                                                          

The above image is from "Open Education: A 'Simple' Introduction" by David Wiley and is licensed under CC BY 4.0

OER Myths

Test your knowledge with the 7 most common myths about Open Educational Resources.
Click on the text to expand or collapse the panel.

This content is adapted from SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). Read their publication, OER Mythbusting, to learn about these facts in more detail.

Fact: Open means the permission to freely download, edit, and share materials to better serve all students. See the Five Rs.

Fact: OER take many formats, including print, digital, audio, and more.

Fact: OER can be produced to the same quality standards as traditional textbooks.

Fact: Open licensing makes OER easy to freely and legally use. See our resources on copyright.

Fact: Models are evolving to support the sustainability and continuous improvement of OER.

Fact: Open textbooks often come with ancillaries, and when they do not, existing OER can provide additional support. See our list of resources (many of which offer ancillaries) to discover textbooks that meet your needs.

Fact: Any institution can start with small steps toward OER that make an impact for students.