What are Open Educational Resources?
Open educational resources (OER) are learning, teaching and research materials that fall under flexible, open licensing that are either in the public domain or have been released under a license that allows them to be freely used, changed, or shared with others. These resources are available in a variety of formats such as photos, videos, open textbooks, courses, and journals and are available for anyone to use at no cost.
There are many different types of open licenses, OER users must be careful of the fine print about how the material can be reused, adapted, or distributed. OER don’t follow the traditional rules of copyright although there are still guidelines for what you can and can’t do. This depends on the license given to each resource; there are currently six Creative Commons licenses, each with varying levels of openness. Understanding the licenses may seem a bit intimidating and complicated at first glance but the Library’s Open Educational Guide can help make sense of it all. This guide will provide you with the basics of OER, how open resources are licensed, how to use Creative Commons licensed work and how to properly attribute creators.