What are OER?
Open educational resources cover a wide range of formats, including open textbooks, video recorded lectures, YouTube clips, web-based textual materials designed for independent study, animations and simulations, diagrams and graphics, some MOOCs (those that are free and can be re-used, which is not usually the case with platforms such as Coursera), or even assessment materials such as tests with automated answers. OER can also include Powerpoint slides or lecture notes.
In order to be open educational resources, though, they must be freely available for at least educational use. This means they usually have a Creative Commons license, which protects the creator of the material from plagiarism or commercialisation of the material by other parties, but allows for re-use without a fee or formal permission.
In some ways, I think those promoting OER take too narrow a view of ‘open’, focusing on materials presumably originally designed for educational use. In my view, ‘open resources’ includes almost anything available on the internet that is NOT commercially licensed, such as open data, open research, and anything else on the Internet that could be used for educational purposes – such as the resources on this blog. But be careful – make sure anything you use is NOT restricted by copyright, and be careful you do not commercialise what you use.
There is a great deal of material on OER in this blog, so I have broken down into three sections:
Click here if you are looking for open educational resources.
This page provides a list of some of the main organisations providing support if you are interested in creating or using OER
This page pulls together all the articles and posts in this blog about OER