What is an OER?

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What is an open education resource (OER)?

Please explore this information to develop your understanding about Open Education Resources.

"Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaptation, and distribution."

Information about open licensing is explained further on.

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Andrew Coyle explains his view of an Open Education Resource (OER).
  • After watching the video, please make a list of five OERs that you have used in your teaching and learning during the last year.
  • Outline how you used them, and reflect on the response of students, and how well they supported your teaching practice.

Where can you find OERs?
  • OER Commons - allows you to search for OERs by Topic, such as Education or Natural Sciences. You are advised to explore this search engine to gain a sense of the variety and volume of OERs available.
  • Of course, you are probably familiar with YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare, which are also rich OER sources of: images, videos and slide presentations.


Extra resources

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand (CCANZ) provides guidance on intellectual property licensing for those wishing to use and/or create OERs. There are currently six different Creative Commons licences - these are all explained on the CCANZ website on their Licences explained page:

  • Attribution
  • Attribution - Noncommercial
  • Attribution - Sharealike
  • Attribution - Noncommercial - Sharealike
  • Attribution - No Derivatives
  • Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivatives

If you wish, you may also download from the CCANZ website a one-pager explaining the six different Creative Commons licences.