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Open Educational Resources: About OER

Learn More about OER


This is a wonderful little 7-module course created for faculty who are getting started with OERs.  Do as much or as little as you like!  You'll learn the essentials and get links to other resources.

What is OER?

OER stands for Open Educational Resources, and is a term that refers to any educational resources that are typically:

  1. Free to access online
  2. Low cost to get a print copy
  3. Licensed by the author/creator with rights that are less restrictive than copyright (i.e. all rights reserved). This license typically includes the right of any user to copy (digitally) & print the text as well as the right to adapt it as desired for use in a course.

Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, or research materials offered freely and openly for anyone to use. The term OER generally refers to digital resources and may be in the public domain, or offered under an open license that allows for reuse, revision, remixing, and/or redistributing. 


What is NOT OER

  • Any eBook (unless it is free)
  • Any website (unless it has a Creative Commons License)
  • Articles from a library database (the student tuition pays for access)

Creative Commons and Licensing

What is an Open Textbook?

A specific type of OER designed to be a free or low cost substitute for a traditional textbook.  
(Source: Kirkwood CC, 
Anne Arundel Community College)

What Does an OER Textbook Look Like?

Here are some examples of different types of open textbooks.  


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