Lower educational Cost and improve access
Reduce the cost of course materials, particularly textbooks
Allow access to content on various devices.
Give learners the option of looking at course content before enrolling.
Reduce the load students bear, increasing graduation and retention rates.
Use, improve and share quality educational resources
Save time by adapting or revising existing resources.
Tailor resources to the content for your course.
Expand opportunities for interdisciplinary and multimedia teaching.
Collaborate with peers.
Want to learn more?
There have been multiple studies on faculty implementations, misunderstandings, and evaluation of OER which are included in The Review Project, a summary of empirical research on the impacts of OER adoption.
In an academic context, a license is permission you get from the copyright owner of the work you want to use. A license grants permissions, but sometimes it states restrictions as well. It specifies what can and cannot be done with a work.
An OPEN license is a type of license that grants permission to access, re-use and redistribute a work for free, with few or no restrictions. With open licenses, creators still maintain the rights to their copyrighted work -- they are not "giving" away their work or their copyright. If you see an open license, you know it's OER.
"Creative Commons" licenses are examples of open licenses. If someone creates OER and wants to share it with others, they put CC licenses on their work to make it clear that they are sharing their work.
Answers to a lot of questions can be found at the Creative Commons FAQ page.
Adapted from "Learn OER" modules, Open Washington, by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, licensed under CC BY 4.0.
"Public domain” refers to creative content that is not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can own it.
There are four common ways that works arrive in the public domain:
From Copyright and Fair Use by Richard Stim for Stanford University Libraries, licensed by CC-BY-NC 3.0
Creative Commons has two tools related to the Public Domain:
CC0: "No rights reserved"
CC PD: "No known copyright"
For more information see:
For more information on compliance guidelines, common scenarios and more, please visit our Copyright and Fair Use guide!