What is OER?

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What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

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

"Open educational resources (OER) are learning materials that are freely available for use, remixing and redistribution." (Wikipedia article)

OER Definitions

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

"OER 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 or 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."

OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and UNESCO

"digitised materials offered freely and openly for educators, students, and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning, and research. OER includes learning content, software tools to develop, use, and distribute content, and implementation resources such as open licences."

The Cape Town Open Education Declaration

"[O]pen educational resources should be freely shared through open licences which facilitate use, revision, translation, improvement and sharing by anyone. Resources should be published in formats that facilitate both use and editing, and that accommodate a diversity of technical platforms. Whenever possible, they should also be available in formats that are accessible to people with disabilities and people who do not yet have access to the Internet."

Wikipedia (Open Educational Resources)

"Open educational resources (OER) are learning materials that are freely available for use, remixing and redistribution."

The Wikieducator OER Handbook

"The term "Open Educational Resource(s)" (OER) refers to educational resources (lesson plans, quizzes, syllabi, instructional modules, simulations, etc.) that are freely available for use, reuse, adaptation, and sharing."

OER Commons

"Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse, without charge. OER often have a Creative Commons or GNU license that state specifically how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared."


Open copyright license required Right of access, adaptation, and republication Non-discriminatory (rights given to everyone, everywhere) Does not delimit "educational resources" to specific use or form
Hewlett Foundation
Cape Town Declaration
Wikieducator OER Handbook
OER Commons

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