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Open Educational Resources (OER)

This libguide defines what Open Educational Resources (OER) are as well as demonstrates how to find OER Resources.

Defining OER

The Council of Chief State School Officers
What is OER?
Video: CC BY 4.0
Music: The Zeppelin by Blue Dot Sessions: CC BY NC 4.0
Support for this work was provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

What is OER?

Section 67423 of the California Education Code defines Open Educational Resources (OER) as     

"high-quality teaching, learning and research resources that:

  1. Reside in the public domain or

  2. Have been released under an intellectual property license, such as the Creative Commons license, that permits their free use and repurposing by others, and

  3. May include other resources that are legally available and free of cost to students.

Open educational resources include, but are not limited to, full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge."

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation provides the following definition of open educational resources:

“OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”

In other words, “OER” is a very broad term. We apply it towards anything that helps students master course concepts.

The key distinguishing factor is the copyright status of the material. If course content is copyrighted under traditional, all-rights-reserved copyright, then it’s not OER. If it resides in the public domain, or carries Creative Commons or similar open copyright status, then it is OER.

 

This content was taken from EL Camino College Library's Open Educational Resources libguide as well as SUNY's Understanding Open Educational Resources (OER) course page.

The 5 Rs of OER

Open content is licensed in a way that grants users the permission to:

  1. Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  2. Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

This content was taken from SUNY's Defining OER course page as well as the original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at: Defining the "Open" in Open Content and Open Educational Resources.

OER Licensing

OER resources reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.

Creative Commons Licensing is the most commonly used intellectual property license for OER that permits free use and re-purposing. Creative Commons licenses work with legal definitions of copyright to automatically provide usage rights pertaining to works.

What is an open license and how does it work?

The Council of Chief State School Officers

Video: CC BY 4.0

Music: Flattered by Blue Dot Sessions: CC BY NC 4.0

This content was taken from SUNY's Creating, Licensing and Publishing OER course page.

Supporting Research

To learn more about impact of integrating OER into your work, please review this research:

OER: Bigger Than Affordability
In this article from Inside Higher Ed Open, Robin DeRosa shares her views on how OER can catalyze a much-needed national conversation about what we mean by “public” higher education.

Attributes of Open Pedagogy: A Model for Using Open Educational Resources
In this article, Bronwyn Hegarty establishes a rationale for the term open pedagogy, and, using current research, presents eight attributes of open pedagogy grounded in the concept of openness and Open Educational Practice.

Hilton, J. (2016) Open educational resources and college textbook choices: a review of research on efficacy and perceptions. Education Tech Research and Development, 64(4), 573 – 590.
This review of research synthesizes the results of 16 studies that examine either (1) the influence of OER on student learning outcomes in higher education settings or (2) the perceptions of college students and instructors of OER. Results across multiple studies indicate that students generally achieve the same learning outcomes when OER are utilized and simultaneously save significant amounts of money.

 

This content was taken from SUNY's Exploring Your Research course page.