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Open Education Resources

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under a copyright license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, journal articles, and any other tools or materials used to support learning. For a more in depth discussion of the meaning of OER, see The Open Educational Resources Definitions.

In short, OER are educational materials that provide users with the "4R permissions." These include free permission to:

Reuse Use the content in its unaltered / verbatim form (e.g., make a copy of the content)
Revise Adapt, adjust, modify, improve, or alter the content (e.g., translate the content into another language)
Remix Combine the original or revised content with other OER to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
Redistribute Share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., post a copy of the content online for others to download)

"What are open educational resources?" by Lumen Learning,, licensed under Creative Commons 3.0.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons LogoCreative Commons is a non-profit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through fee legal tools.

These free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”

Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.

Most Open Education Resources take advantage of Creative Commons licensing. 

This work, "What is Creative Commons?", is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.Creative Commons License