What are open educational resources (OER)?

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

Open educational resources (OER) are digital resources that are used in the context of teaching and learning (e.g. course material, images, video, multimedia resources, assessment items, etc.), which have been released by the copyright holder under an open licence (e.g. Creative Commons) permitting their use or re-purposing (re-use, revision, remixing, redistribution) by others.

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