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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

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Introduction

What are Open Educational Resources?

"Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost, and without needing to ask permission. Unlike copyrighted resources, OER have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights." - OER Commons

"They include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge."  - Hewlett Foundation 

Ways to use OER

Ways to use Open Educational Resources 

1. Reuse - Content can be reused without any changes made.

2. Retain - Copies of content can be retained for personal archives or reference.

3. Revise - Content can be adapted or updated, to suit your students' learning needs.

4. Remix - Content can be modified or integrated with new content, to create hybrid content as needed.

5. Redistribute - Content can be shared with others. 

Difference between OER and OA

Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Access (OA) are similar but not the same. 

Open Access refers to freely available content permanently online such as scholarly articles and journals. These resources can be reused and there is some scope for alteration.

OER, on the other hand, encourages remixing and redistibution of the resource and covers a much wider range of materials. They are intended for teachers and learners, and they include textbooks and related course resources.

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Source: University of Michigan OER Toolkit