Many thanks to Marilyn Billings and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Libraries for this OER guide.
What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?
Open Educational Resources are educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone to use and under some licenses to re-mix, improve and redistribute.
Open Educational Resources include:
- Learning content: full courses, course material, content modules, learning objects, collections, and journals.
- Tools: software to support the creation, delivery, use and improvement of open learning content including searching and organization of content, content and learning management systems, content development tools, and online learning communities.
- Implementation resources: Intellectual property licenses to promote open publishing of materials, design-principles, and localization of content.
OER is a relatively new movement in education; educators and learners as well as learning institutions are driving its development. OER provides an alternative to the rising costs of education. For example, in some countries like South Africa, many educators and learners are tapping into OER as the only source for textbooks. OER provides an opportunity to try new ways of teaching and learning, many of which are mor e collaborative and participatory.
Some educators are using OER as a way to get students more involved, using the OER process as a way to collaborate with them on content creation. This process brings students into a larger context of learning and sharing knowledge beyond the four walls of their classroom.
Flexibility is a key concept in OER. Materials can be adapted for your specific needs. Because these materials can be searched by a wide variety of criteria, you can quickly find what you specifically need.
First, understand Creative Commons (CC) License. Because most of OER are under terms of Creative Commons, understanding CC will help you to use OER better.
Second, identify yourself.
- If you are educators, including professors, lecturers, and teaching assistant, etc., and want to find some teaching materials, such as syllabi, lecture notes, assignment, lab manuscript, lab reports, and so on, please go to the tab For Educators for the selected OER .
- If you are learners and want to find free or affordable textbooks and other course materials, please to the tab For Learners for the selected OER.
Last, join one of the movements to promote and advocate OER development. Please go to the tab Advocacy for information about OER news, campaigns, grants, and training in the effective delpoyment of OERs.