What are open educational resources (OER)?

The University of Edinburgh’s OER Policy defines open educational resources as follows:

learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others. -UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (2019)

Open educational resources can take many forms including, but not limited to:

  • Videos
  • Images, including graphics, photographs, diagrams, etc
  • Audio, including podcasts, recorded lectures, music
  • Web pages
  • Text documents, including Word documents, PDFs, articles, book chapters
  • Open textbooks
  • Wikipedia articles
  • Simulations
  • Data sets
  • 3D models
  • Xerte objects
  • Reading lists
  • Lesson plans
  • Blogs and blog posts

Further information

Open Educational Resources, UNESCO

Open Educational Resources article on Wikipedia

What is OER? on Creative Commons Wiki

The Cape Town Open Education Declaration

Capetown +10 Ten Directions to Move the Open Education Movement Forward

Open Education and OER: A guide and call to action for policy makers, Association for Learning Technology