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Open Educational Resources (OER)

This guide explores and will help you research open educational resources.

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?


Open educational resources (OER) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes.

Creative Commons Open Educational Resources logo "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." - UNESCO



OER Global Logo by Jonathas Mello is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0).

Open Educational Resources (OER) Definitions

OER Definitions

OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. - The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Digitized materials offered freely and openly for educators, students, and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning, and research. OER includes learning content, software tools to develop, use, and distribute content, and implementation resources such as open licenses. - OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development)

The term "Open Educational Resource(s)" (OER) refers to educational resources (lesson plans, quizzes, syllabi, instructional modules, simulations, etc.) that are freely available for use, reuse, adaptation, and sharing. - The Wikieducator OER Handbook

Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse, without charge. OER often have a Creative Commons or GNU license that state specifically how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared. - OER Commons

Open Educational Resources: 6 short videos

6 Videos:

1. What is OER? (1:40)

2. How can OER help educators? (1:43)

3. How can I find OER? (1:32)

4. What does the research say about OER? (2:30)

5. What is an open license and how does it work? (2:11)

6. Why OER? (3:49) 

By: The Council of Chief State School Officers, WA

Open Educational Resources: Adopting an Open Course (Video 5:20)


A wonderful testimonial from SUNY faculty about what it was like to adopt OER curriculum materials and the impact it had on their students through increased access to lower cost textbooks and to their teaching and pedagogy through the collaborative nature of OER. Due to the successes of several faculty members and departments their administration has made a significant commitment to increasing OER adoption campus wide. The impact on student learning and retention are a testament to the importance of Open Educational Resources.