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Open Educational Resources (OERs) areteaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use.
Open Educational Resources are:
Works found in the Public Domain
Works that include a license (such as a Creative Commons License*) that allows users the freedom to Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, or Redistribute (see David Wiley’s definitions below on the 5Rs).
*Some exceptions apply - See our page on Creative Commons Licenses.
Open Educational Resources can take on many forms from textbooks, course packets, games, supplemental or ancillary materials - anything that is used to support access to knowledge or materials used for educational purposes.
The 5R Permissions as defined by Dr. David Wiley are:
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 wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
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)
Librarians and instructional designers are always looking for ways to help students and faculty. One way is through our Affordable Textbook Initiative, aimed at providing access to some textbooks in both print and digital formats.
A critical part of sustaining Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education is recognizing the contributions by instructors who create and improve them as part of their professional work. In order to aid this effort, Driving OER Sustainability for Student Success (DOERS3) has developed an adaptable advisory model to help guide faculty as they attempt to include their OER work in their tenure and promotion portfolios. This model is in no way exhaustive and will likely be most useful as either a way for faculty to start thinking about how to best fit their OER work into their local T&P guidelines or as an OER adapted to those local concerns.