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Open Education Resources (OERs): Start here

About Open Education Resources

Open Educational Resources (OERs), are educational materials which are licensed in ways that provide permissions for individuals and institutions to reuse, adapt and modify the materials for their own use. OERs might include textbooks or entire courses as well as  streaming videos, exams, software, and any other materials or techniques supporting learning.

The OER Foundation uses Creative Commons licenses which are approved by the Free Cultural Works Definition. These licenses afford permissions to reuse and modify educational materials on condition that the original copyright owners are properly attributed. The OER Foundation uses the Creative Commons Attribution License or the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License for its OER. (OER foundation website)


Why Open Education Resources?
A 2014 Study by the US Public Interest Research Group showed:

  • over the past decade college textbook prices increased by 82%
  • 65% of students did not buy their textbook, and 94% of those said they suffered academically
  • students spent an average of $1,200 a year on books and supplies

What you need to consider when choosing an OER

  • Has it been peer reviewed?
  • How has it been licensed?
  • Are there clear instructions on how to use the resource?
  • Is it accessible?
  • Can it be used on multiple devices?
  • Can it be used on different web browsers?

Your Liaison Librarian can help you with some of these questions.

Once you have chosen an open education resource you should check your links regularly to see that it is still available.

About Licensing

Something qualifies as an Open Educational Resource if it can be:

  • Reused  (Used Verbatim)
  • Redistributed  (Shared - such as when you share it with students in a Course Pack)
  • Revised   - Have Derivative works made out of it including:
    • Translation to new Language
    •  Changing to suit local needs (e.g. Change to accommodate a different grade level)
    •  Changing formats (e.g. Narrate and burn to disk)
  • Remixed  (Combined with other content to make a new resource)
    •  E.g. Making a new textbook or anthology out of chunks / chapters from existing works

Check your resource by reading any associated Creative Commons License and learning what rights you have in relation to the learning object.

​Find more at the OEL Toolkit,  a joint project of Swinburne University and University of Tasmania.

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