• What is OER?


  • Open Educational Resources (OER’s) are materials with specialized copyright licenses that allow for the retention, reuse, revision, remixing, and redistribution of those materials without breaking copyright law or jeopardizing intellectual property.

    OER’s can include 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.

    While the term “OER” is often used to refer to electronic resources, any type of material can be released as an OER to encourage resource sharing of the content: there are a plethora of high quality print materials readily available.

    OER’s are typically created and funded by non-profit foundations, colleges and universities, government agencies and other institutions or individuals who develop and manage resources. Because OER’s are either released under a specialized copyright license or are available in the public domain, they often provide a reduced or no cost alternative to traditionally published textbooks that increases the accessibility and affordability of higher education for many students.

    OER’s are incredibly adaptable and can be modified to respond to both new technologies and advances in academic disciplines and pedagogy in a way that traditional proprietary textbooks cannot.

    Being able to legally alter course materials and customize them to be more responsive and accommodating to both faculty and student needs opens up a new world of opportunity and creativity in teaching, learning, and student engagement, and allows for greater diversity of learning environments.

    OER defined:

    "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 William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Definition-

    "[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 Cape Town Open Education Declaration-

    Learn more on the Copyright and Licensing page

    Questions?
    Contact reference@mhcc.edu