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Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources are educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone to use. In addition to this guide, we recommend you also check out a related OER site, Textbook Affordability at UMD.

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

"Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the

 public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation." (UNESCO, 2018).

Open Educational Resources include:

  • Learning content: full courses, course material, content modules, learning objects, collections, and journals.

  • Tools: software to support the creation, delivery, use and improvement of open learning content i

  • Including searching and organization of content, content and learning management systems, content development tools, and online learning communities.

  • Implementation resources: Intellectual property licenses to promote open publishing of materials, design-principles, and localization of content.

Why OER?

"OERs help improve education across the globe. They are important for developing countries, where many students may not be able to afford textbooks, where access to classrooms may be limited, and where teacher-training programs may be lacking. They are also important in wealthy industrialized countries, where they can offer significant cost savings." (UNESCO, 2018).

An additional resource for understanding everything that OER encompasses see the LibGuide on Open Access.