What are Open Educational Resources (O.E.R.)?

Open educational resources (OER) are cost-free and openly licensed (Creative Commons licensed) educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes. This definition comes from the Creative Commons organization.

View this 2 min. introductory video

OERs are most often accessed online and digitally, but they can be in print format as well. OERs can be any type of learning material: a simulation, an image, a podcast, a video, a textbook, or any variety of textual material, like lecture slides.

OERs have Creative Commons licenses that permit users to:

  1. Retain – the right to own, archive, and make copies of the content
  2. Reuse – content can be reused in its unaltered form
  3. Revise – content can be adapted, adjusted, modified, and altered
  4. Remix – original or revised content can be combined with other content to create something new
  5. Redistribute – copies of the content can be shared with others in its original, revised or remixed form

Creative Commons licenses provide the legal framework to enable authors of intellectual materials to retain their copyright, AND decide how others can use their work.

View this 3 min. introductory video about copyright and Creative Commons

Permitting the five uses listed above deems a learning material openly licensed. Users are given explicit permission to retain a copy, share copies with others, and even edit and revise it to fit their needs. This can be powerful in an educational context. Read about the rationale for CC licensing on the Creative Commons website.

Read this short Inside Higher Ed piece called “OER: Bigger than affordability” by Robin DeRosa. DeRosa outlines how open education practices has impacted her approach to teaching.

Next, check out a few OERs created by City Tech faculty:

Africana Folklore by Prof. Javiela Evangelista

Computer Programming and Problem Solving by Prof. Elena Filatova

Biology I Lab by Prof. Jeremy Seto