What is OER?
Open educational resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that have been released under open licenses, such as those provided by Creative Commons. A work is openly licensed when its copyright owner has granted users the right to access, share, improve, and repurpose the work without obtaining permission from the creator. Examples of OER include open textbooks and open academic journals, open courseware, open encyclopedias, and more. Since the terms of Creative Commons licenses allow for redistribution and multiple formats, these resources are available in online catalogues and libraries. Some examples include those listed here.
Articles and Handouts
The following articles, guides, and websites provide valuable information for those who are new to the expansive world of open education. They also give contextual background to open educational resources.
- Defining the “Open” in Open Content (David Wiley)
- Open Education Handout [PDF] (SPARC)
- OER Mythbusting!: Basic Guide to OER (European Open Edu Policy Project)
A variety of ebooks about open education are also available under open licenses. Some of those books include:
- An Open Education Reader (David Wiley, ed)
- Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies (Diana Oblinger, ed)
- Open Education Handbook (Wikibook)
- BC Open Textbook Adoption Guide (BCcampus)
Short videos about open educational resources are useful for sharing and promoting the definition and purpose of OER. These videos are a good place to start:
- Password: OER (Vimeo)
- The OERs (YouTube)
- TEDxNYED: David Wiley (YouTube)
- Knowledge Belongs to Everyone: Dave Ernst (YouTube)
- BCcampus: What instructors say about open textbooks (Vimeo)
- Why Open Education Matters (U.S. Department of Education & Open Society Foundation)
Courses that are open and online are also valuable resources for your introduction to open education. All content from these courses, including webinars, discussions, and more, is archived and available under open licenses. P2PU’s “School of Open” is a catalogue of freely available online courses created by experts to expose everyone to activities that inform open pedagogy, open access, and open education.
- BCcampus MOOC – Adopting Open Textbooks (P2PU)
- David Wiley – Introduction to Openness in Education (Canvas)
- School of Open (P2PU)
This resource is an interactive toolkit that allows you to choose a policy statement in various categories and create an output of a completed Open Policy for your institution. The toolkit is licensed CC-BY and can be reused, remixed, revised, and redistributed.
- OER Policy Development Tool (Amanda Coolidge and Daniel DeMarte)