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Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are freely available on the Internet. Many times they are also free of most licensing and copyright restrictions, allowing them to be copied, re-used, and shared. Sometimes they can also be revised and changed to suit different teaching and learning situations. OER range from entire courses to open textbooks, games, lesson plans, assessment tools, lecture notes, etc.

The 5Rs of OER

  1. Retain: make, own, and control a copy of the resource (e.g. download and keep your own copy of the resource)
  2. Revise: edit, adapt, and modify your copy of the resource (e.g. add content relevant to Assiniboine students)
  3. Remix: combine your original or revised copy of the resource with other existing material to create something new (e.g. add a picture of Manitoba to the resource)
  4. Reuse: use your original, revised, or remixed copy of the resource publicly (e.g. on a website, in a presentation, in a Zoom meeting)
  5. Redistribute: share copies of your original, revised, or remixed copy of the resource with others (e.g. post a copy in a Moodle course or give to a colleague)

Creative Commons Licenses

Although you can apply the 5R principles for most OER, some do have unique restrictions. Checking for a Creative Commons license is often worthwhile, as they are very common for OER. Creative Commons licenses allow creators to choose a set of limitations on the use of their resources. 

There are 6 types of Creative Commons (CC) licenses:

  • CC BY - Attribution
  • CC BY-SA - Attribution & Share Alike
  • CC BY-ND - Attribution & No Derivatives
  • CC BY-NC - Attribution & Noncommercial
  • CC BY-NC-SA - Attribution, Noncommercial & Share Alike
  • CC BY-NC-ND - Attributions, Noncommercial & No Derivatives

Details about each type of license are available through the Creative Commons website.

Evaluating OER

As with any information resource, it is advisable to evaluate the quality of OER.

One system of OER evaluation criteria comes from BCcampus OpenEd Resources (BCOER).

Open Books & Textbooks

View our list of open educational resources to find open books and textbooks for your courses.