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Open Educational Resources (OERs) @ OWU

Creative Commons License Conditions



Images taken from Creative Commons Download page.

What Are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER), which are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and [most] access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use.*

They include a multitude of formats, including textbooks, full courses, modules, videos, labs, assignments, and assessments.

*This content was modified from Furman's OER General Collections LibGuide page with permission.

What Makes Them Open?

Open = Free + Permissions

OERs are licensed in such a way that enables adopters to utilize the 5 Rs:

  1. Retain a copy of the content
  2. Reuse the content in a range of ways
  3. Revise the content as needed
  4. Remix original or revised content with other material
  5. Redistribute the original, revisions, and remixes with others

Creative Commons licenses are often applied to OERs to license these rights to adopters. (See graphics above.)

*This content was modified from Furman's OER General Collections LibGuide page with permission and David Ernst's Oct. 6, 2017 OTN presentation for OhioLINK (Columbus, OH).

Why Do OERs Matter?

Pedagogical freedom

Faculty can add, remove, and modify content to fit their classroom rather than having an expensive textbook dictate topics and order.


Immediate and lasting access

Resources can be accessed immediately, retained, and returned to again and again.



These materials have the ability to save students money when adopted. However, lower cost of textbooks is only one of the many benefits of OERs. Check out this blog post by David Wiley, Chief Academic Office of Lumen Learning, examining the "cost trap" issue when discussing OERs and the other benefits of OERs/issues associated with traditional copyrighted materials.

*This content was modified from Furman's OER General Collections LibGuide page with permission.