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What are Open Educational Resources?

"Open Educational Resources (OER) are high-quality, openly licensed, online educational materials that offer an extraordinary opportunity for people everywhere to share, use, and reuse knowledge. They also demonstrate great potential as a mechanism for instructional innovation as networks of teachers and learners share best practices." - The Hewlett Foundation

According to the Open Education Handbook OER need to meet the "5Rs Framework." This framework outlines that resources are free, and that users have the legal right to: 

  • Retain- Make, own, and control copies of content
  • Reuse- Use unaltered content in a wide range of ways (posting to Blackboard, distributing in class, emailing to colleagues and students, etc.)
  • Revise- Adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself 
  • Remix- The original or revised content can be combined with other open content to create something new 
  • Redistribute- Original content, your revisions, or your remixes can be shared with others 

OERs are not just textbooks, other common resources include:

  • Learning modules
  • Syllabi
  • Learning objects
  • Course websites
  • Lectures and presentations
  • Course materials
  • Activities, labs, assignments
  • Software
  • Videos

Why OER?

OER are free and legal to reuse, improve, adapt, and share:

  • Save time by customizing existing educational resources to fit your course content
  • Find new opportunities to include interdisciplinary teaching and learning by integrating multiple resources

Redefine the "traditional" classroom:

  • Introduce multi-media and interactive sources to provide students with a variety of engaging learning tools
  • Go beyond the confines of the teaching from the textbook
  • Reduce educational material costs for students

Psychology OER

Open Textbook Repositories