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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Everything you need to know about OERs.

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Why Open Educational Resources Matter from Brendan Walsh on Vimeo.


  • Offered in the form of books, courses, streaming videos, instructional material and other documents and media.
  • Freely available to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute.
  • Have alternative licensing (e.g. creative commons) given to them.
  • Funded by college, universities, government, foundations (e.g. William and Flora Hewlett Foundation).
  • Increase the amount of high quality academic resources available for sharing.
  • A response to the increasingly high prices of textbooks.

Is Free the Same as Open?

Free does not equal open

No, free websites, videos and other educational material still have copyright limitations for reuse and sharing. For instance, you aren't necessarily permitted to embed a free eBook or video you found on the web into your D2L course. 

Open Educational Resources give you permission to reuse and redistribute to others. Depending on the Creative Commons license type, you can also remix and revise the material.

Read the article below from for more info.



Free to share; adapt or modify

Public Domain

Works that are publicly available because intellectual property rights have expired or have been forfeited

Free to access tab

Free to access; not necessarily allowed to share, adapt or modify

Fair Use

Permits limited use of material for educational purposes without acquiring permission from the copyright holder


Faculty adopts a book from a traditional publisher; students pay for textbooks (physical or eBook)