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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Providing open license and useful materials for learning & teaching.

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain. They are published under open licenses (i.e Creative Commons) that specify how materials can be used, reused, adapted, shared and modified according to specific needs. They can include textbooks, lecture notes, syllabi, assignments and tests.

Using OERs

Within the bounds of Creative Commons licensing there are 5 key points to consider when using OERs:

1. Reuse - Content can be reused in its unaltered original format

2. Retain - Copies of content can be retained for personal archives or reference

3. Revise - Content can be modified or altered to suit specific needs

4. Remix - Content can be adapted with other similar content to create something new

5. Redistribute - Content can be shared with anyone else in its original or altered format


Image by BCOER Librarians from BCcampus (CC 4.0)

OER Benefits

There are many reasons for using OERs in learning and teaching.

For teaching staff, OERs can supplement and add value to existing curriculum resources.

At the same time, it can reduce the cost of education for your students (reducing financial stress by removing textbook purchases).

For students, using OERs can expose students to a wider range of digital learning opportunities in the form of open texts, open images, open courseware, and self-assessment tools. According to JISC, learners can benefit from:

  • enhanced quality and flexibility of resources
  • seeing/applying knowledge in a wider context than their course may otherwise allow (international dimension)
  • support for learner-centered, self-directed, peer-to-peer and social/informal learning approaches.

OERs provide:

  • Learning resources with cost-saving, quality and flexibility of access
  • Enhanced opportunities for self-learning at home
  • Skills development: digital literacy skills for searching, reusing, recreating, disseminating, branding, networking,...OERs to learning community.

Find more information about OER benefits from the JISC website.

What are the benefits of OER, Jisc 2014