Open Educational Resources
What are Open Educational Resources?
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely and openly available. They can be text documents, audio, video, multimedia, tests, software, learning objects or any other tool used for learning and teaching. The key is that they can be widely distributed and adapted with clear reuse terms, often under a Creative Commons license. At the University of Alberta, we anchor our definition of open to David Wiley's 5 Rs: Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, and Redistribute.1
Open Educational Resources: What and Why by Jason Hardwick, licensed under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.
Benefits of OER
- OER are affordable for students, making education more accessible.
- OER allow you to customize and adapt to your context, providing a richer teaching and learning opportunity.
- Students can benefit from multiple learning styles because OER can incorporate various content formats (text, audio, video or multimedia) and interactive elements.
- Remote and continued access since most OER are digital, do not require an access code and do not expire.
- Contribute to students’ success and completion by easing their financial burden without having a negative impact on their learning.
How to integrate OER into teaching
- Find an existing OER: Look at our Finding OER guide to learn more about where to look for OER that already exist and how the library can support you in your search.
- Adopt an existing OER: Either use an OER as is or adapt it for your course by adding or omitting information, changing the examples, providing clarification for your students, translating the content and so on. You can also create your own OER from scratch with support from our library publishing department. Remember that if you use an OER in your course you can register it as having Zero Textbook Cost for students.
- Apply an open licence to a resource that you have created and/or hold the rights for: Clearly state the conditions for reusing the OER that you have adapted or created by choosing a Creative Commons licence.
- Share and distribute your OER: Share your OER in distribution networks so others can use it.
- Reuse your OER: Use your OER in your classes year-after-year without needing to ask for permission.
University of Alberta Open Education Listserv. Connect with others who are interested in open education by joining our mailing list.
Open Education Cross-Canada Coffee Chats. If you would like to know about future OECCCC events (and receive other Canadian OE news), please send your name, institutional email address, position, and post-secondary institution or organization to email@example.com, and ask to be added to the CanadaOER listserv.
Rebus Community - Contributor Marketplace. Post or respond to calls for authoring, editing, reviewing and more. Brainstorm new Open Textbook Projects.
1 David Wiley, “Defining the ‘Open’ in Open Content and Open Educational Resources,” published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
Content on this page is adapted from The University of Ottawa’s Open Educational Resources Guide, published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
Content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.