Open Educational Resources, or OERs, 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. (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, n.d.)
The 5 R's of Openness
- Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
- 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)
- Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
- Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
- 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)
David Wiley, CC, Marchy 2014, http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/3221
To know more:
- UNESCO: A basic guide to Open Educational Resources
- OECD: Open Educational Resources: a catalyst for innovation
- University of Regina OER libguide: OER definitions
- MERLOT: MERLOT is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community. Materials include open textbooks, open journal articles, assingments, online courses, case studies, presentations, quizzes, training materials for teachers, assessment tools and much more.
- OER Commons: OER Commons is a dynamic digital library and network of educators. The OER Commons digital library includes a range of materials, including data sets, case studies, textbooks, assignments, lecture notes and other formats, for several topic areas.
- Boundless: With content created by a community of educators, who work side-by-side with subject-matter experts, Boundless provides ready-to-use online content, study materials, and assessment items to make teaching more efficient and learning more effective.
- SOL*R: SOL*R is a repository service provided by BCcampus that allows educators to access FREE online learning resources. It facilitates sharing, discovery, reuse, and remixing of a growing collection of content created by BC post-secondary educators.
- Open Education Consortium: this project is a global network of educational institutions, individuals and organizations that support an approach to education based on openness, including collaboration, innovation and collective development and use of open educational materials. The Open Education Consortium is a non-profit, social benefit organization registered in the United States and operating worldwide.
- DOER: The Directory of Open Educational Resources from Commonwealth Universities is a repository for resources that include full courses, teaching materials, lectures, textbooks, and other teaching resources in all areas of knowledge.
- BC Campus Open Textbook Innitiative: Started in 2012, this is considered Canada’s first official open textbook project. Several of the textbooks listed by this project were developed by faculty of BC post-secondary institutions.
- College Open Textbooks: this innitiative, a collection of twenty-nine educational non-profit and for-profit organizations, affiliated with more than 200 colleges, is focused on driving awareness and adoptions of open textbooks to more than 2000 community and other two-year colleges.
- Open Textbook Library: the Open Textbook Library provides a growing catalog of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks. The project is coordinated by the University of Minnesota.
- OpenStax: OpenStax is a nonprofit based at Rice University. Its first open textbook was published in 2012 and the collection has been growing since.
- Open SUNY: Open SUNY Textbooks is an open access textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants. This pilot initiative publishes high-quality, cost-effective course resources by engaging faculty as authors and peer-reviewers, and libraries as publishing service and infrastructure.
- Global Text Project: started in 2004 at the University of Georgia, the Global Text Project publishes open content electronic textbooks and also works in open textbooks alternative dissemination formats when bandwidth is inadequate or unavailable.
Science & Technology
- MIT Open Courseware Textbooks: This page is an index to the online textbooks in MIT OpenCourseWare. Each link below goes to a course or resource page that contains the textbook files. Some of these online textbooks are open-licensed electronic versions of print books. Others are self-published online books, or course notes which are so thorough that they serve as an alternative to a conventional textbook.
- Textbooks - American Institute of Mathematics: The AIM Editorial Board has developed evaluation criteria to identify the books that are suitable for use in traditional university courses. The Editorial Board maintains a list of Approved Textbooks which have been judged to meet these criteria.
- OpenTextbookStore: OpenTextBookStore was created by educators. This is a listing site for publicly available open textbooks, maintained by a teacher.
- GeoGebra: Network of teaching resources for algebra, geometry, charts, spreadsheets, and other resources.
- SageMath: Math software to demonstrate basic to advanced mathematics. Can be used to generate graphs, expressions, drawings, etc.
- Desmos: Online generator of graph and charts.
- Matchcentre: Online resources for math teaching.
- MyOpenMath: Generator of math problems; also gives recommnedations for open textbooks.
- Mathematics LibreTexts: The Mathematics LibreTexts library is a principal hub of the LibreTexts project, which is a multi-institutional collaborative venture to develop the next generation of open-access texts to improve postsecondary education at all levels of higher learning.
- PhET: Interactive simulations for science and math is a project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations.
- UC Davis ChemWiki: The Chemistry LibreTexts library is a principal hub of the LibreTexts project, which is a multi-institutional collaborative venture to develop the next generation of open-access texts to improve postsecondary education at all levels of higher learning.
- ChemCollective: The ChemCollective is a collection of virtual labs, scenario-based learning activities, tutorials, and concept tests. Teachers can use our content for pre-labs, for alternatives to textbook homework, and for in-class activities for individuals or teams.
- College of Earth and Mineral Sciences OER Innitiative:These resources represent substantial portions of the resources provided to students who register in participating Penn State classes. They are available for reuse by teachers and learners worldwide who do not intend to apply for admission, register for classes, or pursue a certificate or degree at Penn State.
- GeoWiki: The LibreTexts geosciences library is a principal hub of the UC Davis LibreTexts project, which is a multi-institutional collaborative venture to develop the next generation of open-access texts to improve STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) at all levels of higher learning.
- USGS Education: Educational resources created by the United States Geological Society.
Trades & Skills Development
- Skills Commons: SkillsCommons is designed and managed by the California State University and its MERLOT program for the Department of Labor’s TAACCCT. It is a free and open online library containing materials and program support materials for job-driven workforce development.
- BioWiki: The Biology LibreTexts library is a principal hub of the LibreTexts project, which is a multi-institutional collaborative venture to develop the next generation of open-access texts to improve postsecondary education at all levels of higher learning.
- Encyclopedia of Life: EoL envisions global access to knowledge about life on Earth. This project focuses on gathering, generating, and sharing knowledge in an open, freely accessible and trusted digital resource.
- Canadian Healthcare Education Commons: As an initiative of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), the CHEC-CESC mission is to provide an online environment and associated commons to share educational materials, designs and practices associated with healthcare education in whatever form across the continuum and between professions in Canada.
- APS Archive of teaching resources: This is an online community for life science educators at all levels. The community and educational resources found on this site are free and open to educators worldwide, although free registration may be required to participate in some community activities, such as posting comments.
- MedEdPortal: MedEdPORTAL, a free, open-access publication covering health professions education, is provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges in partnership with the American Dental Education Association and the American Psychological Association. Materials submitted to MedEdPORTAL are considered stand-alone, complete teaching or learning modules that have been classroom tested and are ready for implementation by our users at their own institutions.
- NOBA Textbooks: Noba is a platform used for free textbooks. Here are selected textbooks available for the area of Psychology.
- Free Sociology Books: These free sociology textbook have been read by nearly 2 million students worldwide.
- Writing Commons: a space where instructors can download and share materials about citation styles, information literacy, writing process, writing styles, and research methodologies.
- Online Writing Lab: The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material related to writing styles and writing strategies.
- Writing Spaces: Writing Spaces is an open textbook project for college-level writing studies courses. Each volume in the Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing series contains peer-reviewed collections of essays about writing—all composed by teachers for students—with each book available for download for free under a Creative Commons license.
- The public domain review: Founded in 2011, The Public Domain Review is an online journal and not-for-profit project dedicated to the exploration of curious and compelling works from the history of art, literature, and ideas.
- Saylor Academy: nonprofit organization working since 2008 to offer free and open online courses to all who want to learn.
- Khan Academy: Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.
- Academic Earth: Academic Earth was launched on the premise that everyone deserves access to a world-class education. In 2009, the project built the first collection of free online college courses from the world’s top universities.
- Open Courseware Consortium: Global network of educational institutions, individuals and organizations that support an approach to education based on openness, including collaboration, innovation and collective development and use of open educational materials. The Open Education Consortium is a non-profit, social benefit organization registered in the United States and operating worldwide.
- Coursera: Every course on Coursera is taught by instructors from reconized universities and educational institutions. Courses include recorded video lectures, auto-graded and peer-reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums.
- MIT Open Courseware: Through OCW, educators can improve courses and curricula, making their schools more effective; students find additional resources to help them succeed; and independent learners enrich their lives and use the content to tackle some of our world’s most difficult challenges, including sustainable development, climate change, and cancer eradication.
- CC Search (prototype): Use this prototype to find images that you can use and remix across several open archives.
- Pixabay: All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.
- Unsplash: All images on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero, which means they can be copied, modified, distributed and used without limitations.
- Wikimedia Commons: Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to everyone, in their own language.
- Creative Commons Search: Creative Commons Search is not a search engine, but rather offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations.
- Openclipart: Open Clipart is a database for clipart images that are shared under a Creative Commons license that allows use and redistribution, even for commercial purposes.
- PEIR Digital Library: Pathology Education Informational Resource (PEIR) is a multidisciplinary public access image database for use in medical education.
- Knowledge Weavers Project: The mission of this project is to produce innovative multimedia resources and methods of delivery to support health sciences education.
- Youtube: Search for video clips and then click on "Filters" on top of the result list. Select the "Creative Commons" option to refine results to open videos only.
Evaluating and Adopting OERs
Collaborating around OERs
- Rebus Community: Rebus.Community is a collaborative platform for creating Open Textbooks. It aims to build a connected network of open textbook creators, develop an open textbook publishing process, and developing software and tools to support publishing of open textbooks.
- Open Education Working Group: The Open Education Working Group has been established to bring together people and groups interested in open education. Its goal is to initiate global cross-sector and cross-domain activity that encompasses the various facets of open education.
- Curriki Groups: Curriki is an online community of educators, learners and committed education experts works together to build and share quality materials that benefit teachers, parents and students globally.