What is OER?


During this module, you will explore open educational resources (OER). Upon completion of this module you will be able to describe what open educational resources are. You will have the opportunity to explore multiple open education resources sites. This will help you get a feel for what is available. This is an area that continues to grow exponentially every year. It will take you approximately 15 minutes to get through if you do the minimum requirements.

Target Course Competencies

Discover what OER (open educational resources) are.

Learning Objectives

  • Define what OER (open educational resources) are.
  • Compare a variety of OER (open education resource) sites.

Learning Activities

  1. Review competency and learning objectives.


Discover what OER (open educational resources) are.

Learning Objectives

  • Define OER (open educational resources).
  • Compare three OER (open education resources) sites.
  1. Watch the video OER (Open Educational Resources) Introduction II

    Why: This is a great starting point to introduce you to the world of OER and why it matters.

    Time: 2 minutes

Learning Materials

  1. Read this definition of Open Educational Resources (OER) from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation:
    “OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”
  1. Read and watch video about the 5R Activities of OER.

    Read: The 5R Activities of OER    An open license permits users of a resource to participate in the 5R activities of OER:

    • Retain: Make, own, and control your own copy of content
    • Reuse: Use the content as-is
    • Revise: Adapt, adjust, modify, improve, or alter the content
    • Remix: Combine the original or revised content with other OER to create something new
    • Redistribute: Share your copies of the original content, revisions or remixes with others

    5R Definition adapted from David Wiley under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Read more about defining “open” in open educational resources.

    Watch What is OER?

    Why: This will help you understand the score of OER and help you to start to think about how you could use in courses you teach.

    Time: Video 1:39 minutes; reading – less than a minute

  1. Read the page and watch the embedded video for an introduction to OER from Open Washington Open Educational Resources Network.

    Why: Open Washington has created a great training site, that we will continue to refer you to as you explore OER. Remember, OER is not only for replacing your textbooks, but for helping you locate other teaching materials/resources for your courses.Access the Open Washington OER webpage to read the text and watch the embedded video.

    Time: Approximately 7 minutes.

    Learning Materials