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Open Educational Resources (OER): Introduction

OER - What are they?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely available educational material that the author has licensed allow others to re-use and adapt. In many cases these have been assigned a Creative Commons licence indicating free use.

OER cover a wide range of materials: textbooks, lecture notes, tests or exams, curricula, projects, assignments, syllabi, audio, video and animation.

With OER content, ensure you assess for quality, currency and relevance and check the license conditions. Additionally, review the educational value of the resource as to subject relevance and pedagogical ‘fit’ of the content within the teaching program.

For more information on strategies for teaching and learning with Open Resources, refer to Learning Futures’ Academic Induction.

It is important to remember that:

1. OER need to be referenced like any other source of information;

2. the same standards of credibility apply to OER as to any other published source.

About OER

Source: shelleynvcc (2013, August 22). OER (Open Education resources) Introduction. [Video file]. Retrieved from


What's the difference between OER and open access?

Open Educational Resources are teaching resources that are freely available under an open licence and are typically reusable. The two are closely related and the key differences are the adaptation of resources allowed with OERs and the broader range of resources that are thought of as OERs. 

Open Access refers to scholarly material that is freely available under an open licence and usually found in Open Access journals and institutional repositories.

For more information about Open Access see the Open Access (OA) Publishing guide.

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