Using Open Educational Resources (OER)

What are Open Educational Resources?

UNESCO provides this definition: "Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with intellectual property licenses that facilitate the free use, adaptation and distribution of resources." This means that OER are freely available online for anyone to use, reuse, and share. Most creators share their OER under Creative Commons (or similar) licenses. Under these licenses, creators keep copyright ownership but let users copy, distribute, and remix the OER for their own purposes.

OER range widely in purpose and type. Common examples of OER include:

  • Textbooks
  • Syllabi
  • Lectures
  • Learning activities
  • Assignments
  • Tests or quizzes

Why choose OER? 

Benefits to Using OER:

  • Zero cost – OER are free to access, reuse, and share with your students
  • High impact – OER are available worldwide
  • Less duplication of effort – No need to write your own textbook on the same subject
  • Customization – You can mix, match, and customize OER to the needs of your class
  • Up-to-date Content – OER can be easily revised as new information arises

I'm new to OER. Where do I start? 

Find some examples of OER in your discipline. Could any of these fit into your course? Remember – you don’t have to use just one. You can mix and match as you need!

Check out Canvas Commons for learning objects that you can easily add to your class’s Canvas Page

Need help? Contact your Subject Librarian.

Evaluating OER 

Unsure if an OER is the right fit? Not all OER are created equal. Use the Affordable Learning Georgia guide to Selecting Textbooks to help you find the right match.