Open Educational Resources: Home

A guide for instructor basic understanding of Open Educational Resources (OER), including how to find, evaluate, use and adapt OER materials for their own curriculum.

Definition of OER

Open educational resources (OER) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes.

Open Education " the simple and powerful idea that the world’s knowledge is a public good and that technology in general and the Web in particular provide an extraordinary opportunity for everyone to share, use, and reuse knowledge."The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Find more information here.

Why use OER?

OER Materials are adaptable, free to use and to share:

Most OER materials come with a Creative Commons License that allows for copy, distribution and even adaptation of work free of cost. For more information see Copyright and OER. 

Lower educational costs:

One of the main reasons a student may drop out of college is cost. While MSSU has already taken steps to aid in this area, rental textbooks and buyback programs, more is still possible. Decreasing the weight of costs can aid in improving graduation and retention rates. 

Materials are easily accessible:

Located online, materials are easy for distance and non-distance learning students to find. Materials can be linked in Blackboard. 

Materials are reviewed by your peers:

Many OER resources, due to growing popularity, have been reviewed by professionals in your field, or are being used at other institutions. 

More choices in materials: 

OER materials can, in some cases, replace textbooks, but they can also act as supplemental material. They are versatile and can help you save time and money by allowing simply adapting already existing materials. 

Examples of OER

Open Educational Resources

Effectiveness and Perceptions of OER

The 5Rs of the Open Education Movement

Defining the "Open" in Open Content
and Open Educational Resources
The terms "open content" and "open educational resources" describe any copyrightable work (traditionally excluding software, which is described by other terms like "open source") that is licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:

1. Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
2. 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)
3. Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
4. Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
5. 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)

This material was created by David Wiley and published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at

Open Education

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