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Open Educational Resources (OER): Home

A look into various open resource content for teachers and students.

What is OER?

Open Educational Resources OER are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with intellectual property licenses that facilitate the free use, adaptation and distribution of resources.

Source: UNESCO

What is OER by Education Week

The 5R of OER

The terms "open content" and "open educational resources" describe any copyrightable work (traditionally excluding software, which is described by other terms like "open source") that is licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:

  1. Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  2. Reuse - the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

Creative Commons LicenseThis material was created by David Wiley and published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at

OER Today

So far, many universities around the world have begun their own OER projects and courses to share with their country and the internet. In the United States universities like MIT, Rice, Johns Hopkins, Tufts, Carnegie Mellon, and Utah State have OER projects where they offer their universities' courses online (with the option of giving a donation to the project). Similarly, participating universities in France, China, Japan, and elsewhere offer their courses online. And translation projects help to broaden OER courses to the rest of the world.

Many OER advocates desire educators to contribute and distribute OER projects to help students, especially college students, obtain quality education without having to pay a high price for textbooks and other materials. Advocates describe the OER movement as a response to students' woes about the cost of textbooks and college education. And students are not just learning from a textbook content given by the instructor, they are also able to broaden their studies using OERs by searching for other information from anywhere at anytime. >

OER in Higher Education

"In the United States, OER can fill key gaps in the market for instructional materials and offer educators innovative ways to engage students and exchange best practices. OER can provide up-to-date textbooks and curricula to meet new, higher academic standards. Community colleges are taking the lead in building degree pathways based exclusively on OER, easing the burden of textbook costs for many students and providing opportunities to improve instruction and learning."

Source: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation