Open Educational Resources (OER) are any type of educational materials that are either in the public domain, or published under open licenses (e.g. 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.
There are many reasons for using OER in learning and teaching, including:
OER and Open Access content are both openly available but the ways that they can be used are very different.
Open Access resources are free to read but usually don't have an open licence or have a restrictive licence so the content can't be altered or adapted. They are scholarly works primarily created to document new knowledge and advance scholarly conversation. Format: scholarly books and journal articles.
OER are free to use, not just free to read like open access materials. OER can be used as the open licences of OER enable the 5Rs. Resources with appropriate open licences can be read, shared, adapted and revised to make new resources. Useful for teaching and learning. Free access. Customisation permitted. Varying formats: textbooks, videos, images, software.
Open Education Resources (OER) are free teaching resources which embody sustainability, inclusivity, equity and collaboration for social good in education.
OER support the following Sustainability Development Goals: