• What is OER?


  • Open Educational Resources (OER) are course materials with specialized copyright licenses that allow us to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute them without breaking copyright law or jeopardizing intellectual property.

    OER takes the concept of Open Access and applies it to any kind of course material one might use in a class setting. This includes lesson plans, course modules, textbooks, course packs, videos, homework assignments, tests, quizzes, and can even apply to the work students produce if the instructor designs it that way.

    Being able to legally alter course materials and custom tailor them to MHCC courses without breaking copyright laws opens up a new world of opportunity and creativity in teaching, learning, and student engagement, and it increases college affordability for our students.

    The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Definition of OER:

    "OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge."

    The Cape Town Open Education Declaration

    "[O]pen educational resources should be freely shared through open licenses which facilitate use, revision, translation, improvement and sharing by anyone. Resources should be published in formats that facilitate both use and editing, and that accommodate a diversity of technical platforms. Whenever possible, they should also be available in formats that are accessible to people with disabilities and people who do not yet have access to the Internet."

    The 5 R’s, Copyright, and Licensing

    All this is made possible through specialized copyright licenses that protect the integrity of intellectual property while allowing for what’s known as The 5 R’s:

    1. Retain: make a copy and own legal rights to your copy
    2. Reuse: use your legal copy in a wide range of ways
    3. Revise: adapt, modify, and improve your copy
    4. Remix: combine 2 or more OER
    5. Redistribute: share with others as much as you want

    Learn more on the Copyright and Licensing page, or contact Heather.White@mhcc.edu or Sergio.Lopez@mhcc.edu with questions.