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Open Educational Resources: Home

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. (Hewlett Foundation).

The 5Rs of Openness

  • Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  • 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 open content 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)

(Source: David Wiley, "iterating toward openness" blog)

Sources of OER - Health Sciences Specific

Free Content

Content that can be freely used but without the "5Rs" of openness.

Sources of OER

Evaluating OER

Evaluating OER

You'll likely find it useful to evaluate OER based on the same standards you use to evaluate other course materials. Here are a few criteria to consider:

Content: Does this OER cover what you'd like your students to learn in the course?
Accessibility: Is the content and reading level at the right level for your students? Is it challenging enough? Is the level of technicality appropriate for your course?
Use: Is the license open? Can you share, reuse, and remix the content freely? For more information on copyright and licensing, check out the Copyright Crash Course
Quality: Is the OER peer reviewed? Can you read reviews from other instructors who teach courses like yours? Are errors corrected or noted?
Format: Does the material come in a format your students can access easily? Is special software required? Can the material be printed or purchased in print at a low cost? 

CC BY | University of Texas at Austin OER Guide