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Open Eduational Resources (OER)

This guide provides information about finding and using Open Educational Resources, or OER.

What Are OER?

Colorful text that says OERWhat Are OER?

Open educational resources (OER) are materials used for a teaching and learning purpose that can be freely downloaded, edited, and shared by others.

What Aren't OER?

Just because a resource is free to view online does not make it an open educational resource. One of the most important aspects of OER is that they carry legal permission for open use, which is typically defined in terms of the 5R activities (Retain, Revise, Remix, Reuse, and Redistribute). This permission is usually granted by the creator of an OER through an open license, such as a Creative Commons license.

Some examples of "free" learning materials that are not OER:

  • Library-subscribed resources
  • Open access articles and monographs (where some or all rights are retained)
  • Free web-based resources under copyright
  • Temporarily free resources from publishers during COVID-19


Image credit: Markus Büsges (leomaria design) für Wikimedia Deutschland. CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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