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Open Educational Resources (OER)

An online guide to OER

What is OER?

What is an Open Educational Resource (OER)?

"In its simplest form, the concept of Open Educational Resources (OER) describes any educational resources (including curriculum maps, course materials, textbooks, streaming videos, multimedia applications, podcasts, and any other materials that have been designed for use in teaching and learning) that are openly available for use by educators and students, without an accompanying need to pay royalties or licence fees...  an OER is simply an educational resource that incorporates a licence that facilitates reuse, and potentially adaptation, without first requesting permission from the copyright holder."

Definition from “A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER),” prepared for the Commonwealth of Learning by Neil Butcher and edited by Asha Kanwar (COL) and Stamenka Uvalic´-Trumbic´ (UNESCO).

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.

Definition from Hewlett Foundation 

Copyright, Open Licensing, & Open Educational Resources

Research on OER

The OER Knowledge Cloud is a repository for journal articles, books, data, research, reports, and any other information about Open Educational Resources (OER).  This searchable database is updated and maintained by professional librarians and volunteers.  The data is fully searchable and all resources are either fully extractable from the Cloud or are linked with a relevant URL.    


The content in this guide is based on Lincoln Land Community College's Open Educational Resources LibGuide, created by Amanda Wiesenhofer. Used by permission.

Learn More about Open Educational Resources