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Open Educational Resources: Introduction

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning and teaching materials that can be freely copied, used, adapted and re-shared. There is a strong emphasis on editing, adapting and customisation of resources, which highlights the main difference between 'just' Open Access materials. OER are either in the public domain (zero copyright restrictions), or published under open licenses (e.g. Creative Commons) that specify how materials can be used, reused, adapted, shared and modified according to specific needs.

OER can be textbooks, courses, images, videos, audio, software, assignments, lesson plans and projects.

UNESCO coined the phrase "Open Educational Resources" at its 2002 Forum on Open Courseware. The Forum designated OER as 

“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. Open licensing is built within the existing framework of intellectual property rights as defined by relevant international conventions and respects the authorship of the work”. (UNESCO, 2002)

Why use OER?

Image by University of South Australia, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

How to work with OER

Within the bounds of Creative Commons licensing there are 5 key points to consider when using OER:

1. Retain - Copies of content can be retained for personal archives or reference

2. Reuse - Content can be reused in its unaltered original format

3. Revise - Content can be modified or altered to suit specific needs

4. Remix - Content can be adapted with other similar content to create something new

5. Redistribute - Content can be shared with anyone else in its original or altered format

"The 5Rs of Openness" by David Wiley is licensed under CC BY 4.0

"5Rs logo" by BCcampus is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.Acknowledgement of Country

Charles Sturt University is an Australian University, TEQSA Provider Identification: PRV12018. CRICOS Provider: 00005F.