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Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources--What are they?

books with sunflowers in a jar

Open Educational Resources are educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone to use with proper attribution and under some licenses to re-mix, improve, and redistribute. Open Educational Resources include:

  • Learning Content: courses, lectures, audio/visual resources, textbook & book collections, and openly accessible journals.
  • Tools & Systems: software to support the creation, delivery, use and improvement of open learning content including searching and organization of content, content and learning management systems, content development tools, and online learning communities.
  • Copyright & Licensing Resources: Intellectual property licenses to promote open publishing of materials, design-principles, and localization of content. Information about how open content and collections can be used for educational purposes.

OER is a relatively new movement in education; educators and learners as well as learning institutions are driving its development. OER: ‚Äč

  • provides an alternative to the rising costs of education,
  • creates opportunity to try new ways of teaching and learning,
  • allows for collaboration and participation in content creation, bringing students into a larger context of learning,
  • is inherently flexible and allows for adapting materials for your specific needs, and
  • is easily searchable by a wide variety of criteria for ease of discovery and use.

Content adapted from Matt Sheridan, Digital Repository Resident Librarian, from the UMass Amherst Libraries Open Educational Resources project.

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