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Open Educational Resources: Home

About OER

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely accessible teaching, learning, and research materials in any format that are in the public domain or are available under an open license that allows their free use and re-purposing by others.

The term open educational resources (OER) was first introduced at a conference hosted by UNESCO in 2000 and was endorsed in the context of providing free access to educational resources on a global scale.

Why use OER?

Use OER to provide an affordable, accessible, and engaging learning experience.


  • Free or low-cost

Students anywhere can access OER at any time for free.

OER has demonstrated an increase in student learning while removing barriers of accessibility and affordability.


  • Customisation

Academics can customize their class instruction

Challenges in using OER

  • Quality Assurance

OER release should be subject to ongoing Quality Assurance process which is transparent and fair, however this is not always the case.


  • Sustainability

Without preservation of these often one-time start-up OER projects, the initial funding will end after a few years and sustaining the resources will be expensive, the resources may become outdated and the quality gone.


  • Lack of understanding about OER

Many do not understand the potential of OER and feel that it threatens their ownership of intellectual property. Also, it takes time to creat and/or locate existing OER.

Search Tools

Open Licenses

When it comes to OER the most typical open licenses used are Creative Commons Licenses.

Generally speaking, an open license grants permission to access, re-use and redistribute a work with few or no restrictions.

See: How to Choose an Open Licence and The National Forum Open Licensing Toolkit

The toolkit provides a detailed description of Creative Commons (CC) licenses, as well as a four-step guide to choosing, creating and adding CC licences to resources to make them OER.

BC campus

Use open technologies to facilitate, evaluate, and create open educational resources to share

Explore, create, and collaborate with educators around the world to improve curriculum using this public digital library of open educational resources.

Free Course


What is open learning and why OER?

Other Open LibGuides

Galway 091-742785 | CCAM 091-745409 | Mayo 094-9043146 | Letterfrack 091-742666 |