Open educational resources (OER) are openly licensed content which can be retained, reused, revised, remixed and redistributed. The licence an OER carries gives you the information and permissions you need to reuse the resource without needing to seek permission from the content’s author. The OEPS project has a specific focus on the freedoms afforded by openly licencing content and the degree to which design development and the distribution accounts for equity and openness in education.
OER can be all kinds of different materials you might use in your teaching and learning such as a video, lesson plan, a register, a presentation, a textbook or book chapter or a model used to illustrate an example. OER can be both online and offline and in all kinds of formats. The licence it carries is what defines how open it is.
The term OER and the open education movement came into common usage in the early 2000s (see Discover an open source world - What is open access?)
You can read different definitions of OER at the following places:
- A basic guide to OER
- Creative commons list of definitions
- Opening Educational Practices in Scotland definitions
- The OER Research Hub have collected 10 videos that explain different facets of OER
- Open Research Glossary – May 2015
Image source: OERs - so cool. Photo by Beck Pitt of a drawing at OER15 conference, CC-BY
Some of the content of this article is remixed from material which now appears in the Open Educational Practice course Becoming an open educator which the OEPS project has created.