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SME Library Resources: What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

OERs consist of any type of educational resource that is free for teachers and students to reuse and share.  They include things like:

  • lectures (audio or video) and lecture notes

  • lesson plans

  • readings lists

  • tests and quizes

  • videos

  • games and activities

  • course assignments 

Four R's of OER

The four R's are often used to describe OERs, because they can be:

  • Reused - used verbatim, exactly the way you found it

  • Revised - updated, or translated to other languages

  • Remixed - combined with existing things to produce something new

  • Redistributed - shared with others

Why are OER's unique?

OER authors retain few, if any, ownership rights.  This means you can do anything you want with it.  Materials often have a Creative Commons or GNU licenses (for software) that state specifically how items can be used.