Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER)

What are OER?

Open educational Resources are electronic resources that can be revised, repackaged, and reused by users. They offer faculty a means to produce course-specific, low cost media for students. Wiley (2014) identifies five key elements of openness:

  1. Retain. The right to make, own, and control copies of the content.
  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 open content 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)

More Information

This excellent short series of videos talk about why OER is viable and helps in defining, finding, researching, and open licensing OER.

A Selection of Research on Open Resources

Resources for finding open content

  • AMSER: Applied Math and Science Educational Repository
    Thousands of resources on the arts and sciences, free to use.
  • Academic Earth
    Find free online courses, lectures, and videos from some of the best colleges in the country
  • Internet Archive
    This library contains hundreds of free courses, video lectures, and supplemental materials from universities in the United States and China.
    A portal to OER. "Find peer reviewed online teaching and learning materials. Share advice and expertise about education with expert colleagues. Be recognized for your contributions to quality education."
  • MIT OpenCourseWare
    Course materials for over 2000 courses available for free.
  • OER Commons
    Free to use learning and teaching content from around the world.
  • Open Course Library
    "The Open Course Library is a collection of expertly developed educational materials including textbooks, syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments in 81 high-enrollment college courses. 42 courses have been completed so far, providing faculty with a high-quality, affordable option that will cost students no more than $30 for textbooks. All materials are shared under a Creative Commons (CC BY) license unless otherwise noted." Also available via Connexions.
  • Open Courseware Consortium
    "The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating abroad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model."
  • Open Michigan
    Find stuff and use it. Freely. A collection of educational resources and learning experiences from the University of Michigan.
  • OpenStax CNX (formerly Connexions)
    Textbooks, articles, supplements, learning resources for free online and free download. Can be copied and modified and reposted under your own name with attribution.
  • The Orange Grove
    Florida's digital repository for instructional resources.
  • AcademicPub
    Offers a build-your-own-textbook service to students and provides instructors the ability to create customized textbooks as well.
  • Boundless
    Offers services that use OER to create a free replacement to a student's assigned textbook.
  • Flatworld Knowledge
    Provider of digital learning content and mobile adaptive social learning platform.
  • Lumen Learning
    Supports faculty in identifying and selecting high quality OER, aligning these to learning outcomes, and assembling them to create OER-based courses.
  • VitalSource CourseSmart
    Provider of e-textbooks and digital course materials in higher education.