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What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources, or OER, are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost. Unlike fixed, copyrighted materials, OER have been authored and created with the intention of retain few, if any, ownership rights.

In general, you are able to download a resource, edit in some way and re-post it as a remixed work. OER typically have a Creative Commons license which indicates how the material can be used.

An OER can be a Textbook, Tutorial, Video, Quiz, Syllabus and more!

Visit our Open Education Research Guide for more information.

Open Access and Creative Commons

Open Access is a type of terms of use set by the creator that can range from partial to unrestricted access. The user is expected to review these terms and follow them accordingly. In some cases, access is completely free but not always, so be sure to check the license.

Creative Commons is a type of licensing that allows for certain rights to use a work (e.g., modify, share, etc.) under certain conditions (e.g., for non-commercial use only, only if the resulting work is similarly shared, etc.). The creator specifies how their work can be used by applying the license of their choice. In some cases, Creative Commons-licensed materials can be freely used, shared or modified. Always check the license to see what is required in order to use the work. For example, you may be required to give credit to the creator, to share the resulting work in the same way or may not be able to use the work for commercial purposes.

Rather than locking down a work, as Copyright automatically does, Creative Commons licensing allows the copyright owner to choose how the work is used!

Authors, Adapters and Adopters of OERs