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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching, learning, and research resources in any format that are free of cost and have limited to no restrictions on use

Why they 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.
  • Affordability
    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.*

See: OER Commons - Introduction to OER
See: OE Global - What are OERs?

[*] Furman University OER Guide

Licensing OERs

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

Creative Commons licenses are often applied to OERs, and are indicated by icons on the web resource. Below are some of the more commonly used.

CC = Creative Commons general icon. This is usually followed by other icons to indicate the specific sort of CC license is being applied to the given work.
BY = By license. Credit must be given to the creator.
NC = Non-commercial. Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted.
SA [image of circular arrow going counter-clockwise] = Share-alike. Adaptations must be shared under the same terms.
ND [image of equals sign] = No derivatives. No derivatives or adaptations of the work are permitted.

More on Creative Common license types

Affordable Learning Ohio

OERs are a key component to OhioLINK's initiative Affordable Learning Ohio, which aims to lower cost of learning resources for Ohio college students.

As an OhioLINK member, OWU has access to their resources, including: