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OER: Open Educational Resources : Overview

What is OER?

Image of neon sign reading  "open"According to UNESCO, "Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaptation, and distribution." OER include curriculum maps, course materials, textbooks, streaming videos, multimedia applications, podcasts, and any other materials that have been designed for use in teaching and learning.

The Creative Commons has gathered a number of definitions of OER from different organizations.

What can I do with OER? Remember the 5 Rs

Open content is licensed in a way that grants users the permission to:

Retain Make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
Reuse 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 Adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content (e.g., translate the content into another language)
Remix Combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
Redistribute Share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., post a copy of the content online for others to download)

This material is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at: Defining the "Open" in Open Content and Open Educational Resources.