What are open educational resources?
Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are in the public domain or have been released with an open license (often a Creative Commons license). Anyone can freely use, copy, adapt, and reshare OER.
They encompass textbooks, full courses, syllabi, test questions, lecture notes, assignments, software, videos, lab notes, games, and more.
The 5 R's of open content
According to opencontent.org, to be considered "open," educational resources must be free and give users the freedom to do the 5 R's:
- 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 itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
- Remix: combine the original or revised content with other open content 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., give a copy of the content to a friend)
OER include digital learning materials such as:
- open textbooks
- full courses
- homework assignments
- lab activities