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Open Educational Resources: Defining OER

This guide explains what Open Educational Resources are and provides resources for faculty at Snow College to help them use and create high-quality educational resources that can be used to decrease material costs for courses at Snow College

The What of Open Educational Resources

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium - digital or otherwise - that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions (UNESCO, 2019).  OERs can be in the form of quizzes, textbooks, syllabi, full courses, test questions, assignments, lecture notes and more.

Use The 5 R's of OER to help you determine if something you want to use or create as an open resource is open and free of copyright.

  An open educational resource provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:

  • Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage
  • Reuse - the right to use the content in a variety of ways (in class, in a study group, on a website, in a video, etc.)
  • Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • 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)
  • 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)  See

To Learn more about OER visit the Learning more about OER tab in this LibGuide