Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Markus Büsges (leomaria design) für Wikimedia Deutschland e. V., CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


What are Open Educational Resources (OERs)?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials that have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution. Open Educational Resources (OERs) refers to the sharing of digital educational materials in online spaces. Open Education includes open scholarship, open pedagogy, open data, open courses and open access publishing, as well as open educational resources and most recently the MOOC (massive open online course).

Using OERs has the obvious benefit of saving time and duplication of effort while also building on the best practices of international experts. Sharing back OERs to the community has reputational benefits internationally and can also serve as a recruitment tool for students and global partnership. Such sharing spaces may be structured purpose-built repositories, social media channels, or other platforms in the cloud.

The most popular and common examples of OERs include textbooks or lesson plans. However, educational resources can include anything, in any format, that is used for teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions (UNESCO). 



Click here for some of the most comprehensive OER collections available.

Educational resources that are Open provide users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the following 5R activities:


Open Licenses/ Creative Commons licenses -- are important elements of Open Educational Resources. They allow you to explain, in plain language, how your creative works can be reused.

Source: Defining the "Open" in Open Content and Open Educational Resources by David Wiley, published in his blog, licensed under a CC BY license
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