Open Educational Resources Community of Learning

Module 1: Defining OERs

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

In defining Open Educational Resources (OERs), we use the terms "free" and "open." In this context, "free" simply means that materials are free of charge to use. Free materials are appealing to many different groups - faculty, administrators, students - and represent a move away from the traditional educational publishers.

The second part of OERs, "open" has a specific legal definition: "openly licensed." This concept is key to understanding OER, because while traditional copyright gives a creator many rights, it does not allow for their work to be shared with others. 

Open Educational Resources

  1. Digital (available online)
  2. Free of charge
  3. Openly licensed