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.
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. (Hewlett Foundation)
In our collections of Open Textbooks and other OERs, we do our best to adhere to the five Rs of open education as defined by David Wiley, which are:
- Retain – i.e. no digital rights management restrictions (DRM), the content is yours to keep, whether you’re the author, instructor or student.
- Reuse – you are free to use materials in a wide variety of ways without expressly asking permission of the copyright holder.
- Revise – as an educator, you can adapt, adjust, or modify the content to suit specific purposes and make the materials more relevant to your students. This means making it available in a number of different formats and including source files, where possible.
- Remix – you or your students can pull together a number of different resources to create something new.
- Redistribute – you are free to share with others, so they can reuse, remix, improve upon, correct, review or otherwise enjoy your work.