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Open Educational Resources (OER): Home

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.

Why Open Education Matters

Produced by Creative Commons. This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

"Open Educational Resources are 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." -- The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The 5 R's of Openness:

  1. Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  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 material 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)

This material was created by David Wiley and published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at

Why Use OERs?

OER presents opportunities for the realization of benefits for students and faculty.

  1. Reduce student costs: "According to a June 2013 Government Accountability Office report, textbook prices rose 82 percent between 2002 and 2012, at three times the rate of inflation." (Inside Higher Ed report) Many students opt out of buying textbooks and other course materials due to the cost. Reducing these costs is one of the most compelling reasons to use OERs.
  2. Support student success: OERs can help guarantee that every student in a course has access to course material at the same time and at the optimal time. Access to course material helps students succeed in a course and in their advancement towards graduation.
  3. Challenge faculty pedagogy: Adapting, adopting, or creating OERs gives faculty the opportunity to tailor course content in new ways, allowing them to maximize the use of content to provide innovative and/or optimized learning experiences and environments.
  4. Enrich scholarship: If faculty share that great lesson, simulation, tutorial, textbook, etc., it gives fellow instructors more options for their own teaching and learning. The more pedagogical strategies available for teaching a topic, the stronger the teaching and learning can be.