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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

What are Open Educational Resources (OERs)?

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are educational materials that are in the public domain or published under open licences (such as Creative Commons) that specify how they can be used, reused, adapted and shared. OERs can include textbooks, curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and software.
 

Open Educational Resources (3.11 min) by the IDP (CC BY 3.0)

A few years ago a professor taught a climate change course reaching about 100 students per semester. 

One day he thought, 

“If I could upload this course online, then not only would my 100 students have access to it, but others as well.” 

So he did. 

And this is what happened. 

Anna sent the courses content across the country to Alex, who was studying climate change. 

Alex found it so interesting that he forwarded a copy to his friend Lulu in Africa. 

Lulu was developing peer to peer courses with Phillip, so they remixed the content with other resources and created a new course about the impacts of climate change in effort. 

Alan, a participant in the course, shared the content with Gabby, who was studying environmental policy in Latin America. 

Gabby brought the content to her class and together they translated it into Spanish. 

After that Gabby’s professor shared it with his other classes. 

Myra, another student, shared the content with her father, who passed it on to his colleagues. 

Gabby’s professor also forwarded the content to David, a colleague in the UK who was researching climate change. 

He updated some of the data, adapted it to his study and published an article in an open journal. 

Researchers from all over the world were able to read the article. 

David sent the updated content back to the original professor. By then his course had reached so many more people than his 100 students. 

Years later, many schools have begun to follow the example and opened access to their content. 

Governments began promoting the use of open textbooks and students began saving money on books. 

Other innovative universities began to Open Access to entire courses, making them available to participants from all around the world. 

These are open educational resources, teaching, learning, research resources that can be reused, redistributed, remixed and revised. 

Open educational resources are accessible to everyone, learners, teachers, researchers, parents, workers, citizens, to you. 

This is open education, knowledge as a public good. 

Everyone has the right to be educated yet only a few have access to school. 

Open educational resources increase access to, improve quality of, and reduce costs of education. 

Sharing knowledge is important. 

Now you know. 

Open educational resources. 

Give everyone the opportunity to learn. 

Benefits of OERs

OERs provide a range of benefits for both students and educators. They can:

  • Provide opportunities for collaboration and innovation: OERs are born digital and can be adapted and tailored to suit your course without the constraints applied to traditionally created (and copyrighted) materials. 
  • Improve student success and retention: By reducing cost and access barriers, OERs can ensure that every student in your course has flexible and timely access to course materials. Several studies have shown that OERs can bolster student success.
  • Align with BOLD Learning and Teaching Practices: Fully customisable OERs allow you to tailor materials to closely align with your course learning outcomes and the specific needs of your students.
  • Reduce education costs for students: One of the most compelling reasons to use OERs is their low cost.

How students benefit from using open educational resources (3.11 min) by Lumen Learning. YouTube.

 

A few years ago a professor taught a climate change course reaching about 100 students per semester. One day he thought, “If I could upload this course online, then not only would my 100 students have access to it, but others as well.” So he did. And this is what happened. Anna sent the courses content across the country to Alex, who was studying climate change. Alex found it so interesting that he forwarded a copy to his friend Lulu in Africa. Lulu was developing peer to peer courses with Phillip, so they remixed the content with other resources and created a new course about the impacts of climate change in effort. Alan, a participant in the course, shared the content with Gabby, who was studying environmental policy in Latin America. Gabby brought the content to her class and together they translated it into Spanish. After that Gabby’s professor shared it with his other classes. Myra, another student, shared the content with her father, who passed it on to his colleagues. Gabby’s professor also forwarded the content to David, a colleague in the UK who was researching climate change. He updated some of the data, adapted it to his study and published an article in an open journal. Researchers from all over the world were able to read the article. David sent the updated content back to the original professor. By then his course had reached so many more people than his 100 students. Years later, many schools have begun to follow the example and opened access to their content. Governments began promoting the use of open textbooks and students began saving money on books. Other innovative universities began to Open Access to entire courses, making them available to participants from all around the world. These are open educational resources, teaching, learning, research resources that can be reused, redistributed, remixed and revised. Open educational resources are accessible to everyone, learners, teachers, researchers, parents, workers, citizens, to you. This is open education, knowledge as a public good. Everyone has the right to be educated yet only a few have access to school. Open educational resources increase access to, improve quality of, and reduce costs of education. Sharing knowledge is important. Now you know. Open educational resources. Give everyone the opportunity to learn.