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Open Educational Resources (OER): Home

This LibGuide provides resources on free and open educational resources in a variety of formats.

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What is OER?

 What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Open Educational Resources ( also termed open content or open courseware ) are educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone to use and under some licenses to be shared, remixed or improved to redistribute.

Open Educational Resources include:

  • Learning content: full courses, course material, content modules, learning objects, collections, and journals.
  • Tools: software to support the creation, delivery, use and improvement of open learning content including searching and organization of content, content and learning management systems, content development tools, and online learning communities.
  • Implementation resources: Intellectual property licenses to promote open publishing of materials, design-principles, and localization of content.

Why OER?

OER is a relatively new movement in education; educators and learners as well as learning institutions are driving its development. OER provides an alternative to the rising costs of education. For example, in some countries like South Africa, many educators and learners are using OER as the only source for textbooks. OER provides a exploratory mechanisms for others means of teaching and learning that are collaborative and participatory. 

For additional information about OERs view Dr. Cable Green's Powerpoint slides here or read the following articles:

OER Definitions


There are many definitions of "Open Educational Resources" (OERs) .  One of the most common defintion  is provided by UNESCO:

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or    introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely   copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation.

And the one provided by OER Commons

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an instructor, student or self-learner. Examples of OER include: full courses, course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities,  pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.