Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Open Access: Open Educational Courses & Books

What is OER

According to UNESCO, "Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaptation, and distribution." OER include curriculum maps, course materials, textbooks, streaming videos, multimedia applications, podcasts, and any other materials that have been designed for use in teaching and learning. The Creative Commons has gathered a number of definitions of OER from different organizations.

"7 Things You Should Know About Open Educational Resources" by EDUCAUSE is licensed under BY-NC-ND 3.0, June 201

"A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER)" was prepared by Neil Butcher for the Commonwealth of Learning & UNESCO and is licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0 IGO, 2011, 2015.

"Pedagogy, Technology and the Example of Open Educational Resources" was written by Robin and Scott published on EDUCAUSE Review.

The Open Educational Resources story shared by Open Washington ( Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges ). 

"5R" principles on OER use:

Retain Make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
Reuse Use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
Revise Adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content (e.g., translate the content into another language)
Remix Combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
Redistribute Share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., post a copy of the content online for others to download)

This material is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at: Defining the "Open" in Open Content and Open Educational Resources.

OER Resources

Open Textbook Publication

Like traditional textbooks, open textbooks are written by experts in the field and undergo a process of peer review and professional editing and development. Unlike the traditional publishing model, publishers and authors of open textbooks are paid for their labor upfront by the funding organization or grant, instead of relying on sales to pay back their investments.

OER and Open Textbooks

Open Textbooks