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:
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.
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.
Portions of this guide were taken in whole, or part, with permission from the Open Education guide authored by Matt Sheridan at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst: