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Open Educational Resources (OER): Free the Textbook

Information about OER Materials

About OER

What are OER?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are free digital learning materials that may be reused and/or customized. They often use Creative Commons copyright licenses. OER can include:

  • Textbooks
  • Lesson plans
  • Learning modules
  • Lecture notes and slides
  • Syllabi
  • Assignments 
  • Podcasts and videos
  • Training materials

True OER designed with Open Content are licensed in ways that allows free and perpetual permission to use any of the 5R activities:

  • Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  • Reuse - the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  • Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

You should never pay for anything that calls itself OER.

How Do I Learn About OER?

Useful OER information provided by Halle Library at Eastern Michigan University

Open Educational Resources Repositories

Where do I find OER?

Searchable OER Repositories from a variety of institutions

University Sponsored Courseware

What About OER Supplemental Material (Courseware)?

Several universities have made available the educational course materials developed by their faculty.

The educational materials for each course may include syllabi, lectures, notes, powerpoint presentations, readings, assignments, and video or audio lectures, depending on the course, the semester, and the professor.

Subject Specific OER Sites