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Open Educational Resources (OER)

What are Open Educational resources (OERs)?

OER logoThe William and Flora Hewlett Foundation define Open Educational Resources as:

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 material, 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. (n.d).  Open Educational Resources. Retrieved from

Why Use OERs?

Higher Education comes at a cost. OERs are designed to make education more available to those who otherwise couldn’t afford it.

OERs can support teaching and learning in several ways. They:

  • Reduce resource costs for your students
  • Engage with other educators 
  • Build partnerships across institutions
  • Share learning and teaching experience
  • Enhance the quality of educational resources
  • Provide real-life experiences for your learners
  • And many, many more!

The 5 Rs of Using OER





5 R's of Openness" by David Wiley is licenced under CC BY 4.0

OERs can be legally and freely copied, used, adapted and shared. Wiley refers to this as the 5 R's of openness:

  • 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)

Getting Started With OER