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.
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:
Open Access is a movement by scholars and the public to overturn the current system whereby publishers restrict access to articles.
The OpenCourseware Consortium stated: "We envision a world in which the desire to learn is fully met by the opportunity to do so anywhere in the world - where everyone, everywhere is able to access affordable, educationally and culturally opportunities to gain whatever knowledge or training they desire."
For faculty open access provides "better visibility and a higher impact to their scholarship."
For students open access ensures they get the best possible education and are not restricted by the selection of scholarly journals or other resources their campus provides.
Open education resources depend on a type of licensing that allows the copyright owner to freely distribute their materials under certain terms.
The CC license puts certain restrictions on materials, and there are different permissions associated with each license.
Always check the Creative Commons licence before using the OER materials. While most allow re-use with attribution for non-commerical purposes. Some licensing does not allow for re-mixing or adaptation.
Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER)
CCCOER is a growing consortium of community and technical colleges committed to expanding access to education and increasing student success through adoption of open educational policy, practices, and resources. Find open and free textbooks, archived information from the active listserv, webinars, case studies, and more.
The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication.
Open Education Global
Open Education Global is a worldwide community of organizations committed to improving education access, affordability, success and quality for all.
International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE)
The International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) is the leading global membership organization for open, distance, flexible and online education, including e-learning, and draws its membership from institutions, educational authorities, commercial actors, and individuals.
Creative Commons Open Education Workgroup
* Stay connected to global actions in open education resources, practice, and policy.
* Identify, plan and coordinate multi-national open education content, practices and policy projects to collaboratively solve education challenges with an amazing group of open education leaders from around the world.
Open Education Group
"An interdisciplinary research group that (1) conducts original, rigorous, empirical research on the impact of OER adoption on a range of educational outcomes and (2) designs and shares methodological and conceptual frameworks for studying the impact of OER adoption. We also teach courses in topics relating to open education."