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Open Educational Resources: Home

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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.

OER include a varied range of materials: books, case studies, courses, journals, primary sources, assessments, assignments, reference materials, tutorials, tests, and more.

Users can:

5 R's

The 5 R's - Source

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

... Access, Equity and Pedagogy 



  • Students, staff and everyone anywhere can access OER at any time for free
  • OERs can supplement textbooks and lectures where deficiencies in information are apparent
  • OER has demonstrated an increase in student learning while removing barriers of accessibility and affordability
  • Develop digital literacies
  • Open for addressing diversity and inclusion
  • Persistent availability of resources 
  • Academics/users can customize/adapt to their context/needs
  • Fast availability of material may increase the timeliness and relevance of the material being presented
  • Reduces inequality to education - supports Sustainable Development Goal 4

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the initial funding will end after a few years and sustaining the resources will be expensive, the resources may become outdated and the quality gone.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 that make the discovery of open content easier:


► Maryland Open Source Textbook (MOST) Commons an online space designed to support faculty and staff in discovering materials, collaborating with colleagues, and contributing OER to improve curricula.

► Mason OER Metafinder - performs a simultaneous search across 21 different sources of open educational materials.

 OASIS - Openly Available Sources Integrated Search - searches open content from 72 different sources

Useful Resources


Finding Open Images


Resources to get you started

Use OER instead of commercial textbooks if it’s pedagogically fitting.


Homepage - National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in  Higher Education

Using OER and OEP for Teaching and Learning


The toolkit provides information and tools to understand, engage with, and sustain OER in practice.

There is no central repository for OER, here's some key resources: 


BC campus

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

Checkout your subject or discipline: 

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

862 Open Textbooks

Textbooks in the Open Textbook Library are considered open because they are free to use and distribute, and are licensed to be freely adapted or changed with proper attribution.

Open Library

Open Library contains information about books. Internet Archive hosts a collection of digitized books. Open Library’s universal catalog provides links to discover, borrow, and read from the Internet Archive’s collections.


Learn Without Limits

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