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.
Use OER to provide an affordable, accessible, and engaging learning experience.
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.
Academics can customize their class instruction
OER release should be subject to ongoing Quality Assurance process which is transparent and fair, however this is not always the case.
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the initial funding will end after a few years and sustaining the resources will be expensive, the resources may become outdated and the quality gone.
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.
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.
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.