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Open Educational Resources (OER): Getting Started with OER

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.

Are you ready to start with OER now?

Are you ready to start with OER now? Head on over to The OER Starter Kit!
Still need to learn more? Keep reading this guide.

Video: OER Overview

Video: What are Open Educational Resources?

Context for Open Educational Resources (OER)

Textbook costs have risen 812% - 1,041% over the past three decades. Consequently, 65% of students in a national study did not purchase textbooks and 82% of students agreed that free online access to textbooks would help them do “significantly better” in their courses. Open Educational Resources (OER) offer a solution.

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

In other words, OER are open, free resources that you and your students can use, well, freely.

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

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Wendy Walker
Digital Initiatives Librarian/Associate Professor, Mansfield Library