Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.
Examples of OER include:
A common misconception of OER is that they are simply "free" resources. While free is one component, how the resource is licensed is equally important.
For resources to be considered OER, they must be openly licensed.This means the permissions traditionally protected by copyright are proactively communicated to users-- frequently, though not exclusively, using Creative Commons. Creative Commons provides a variety of licensing options that allow creators of works to grant usage rights to others.
In addition to including both legal language and layman's language, each Creative Commons license also includes a machine readable version, which allows search engines and other types of technology to understand the intellectual property rights associated with the work. Creative Commons licenses were created to be flexible and range from very open to restrictive depending on the rights the creator wishes to share.
Texas State University Libraries. "Introduction to Open Educational Resources: Home." Library
Guides, 5 Apr. 2022, guides.library.txstate.edu/c.php?g=708228. Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
The great aspect of OER, is that you can adapt material for use in your own course. Depending on the CC license, are able to do one or more of the following with it:
This material is an adaptation of "Defining the "Open" in Open Content and Open Educational Resources" by David Wiley and licensed under CC BY 4.0.
Zero textbook cost (ZTC) means that students do not incur any costs for purchasing course materials. Zero-cost to the students does not guarantee zero-cost to the institution, i.e. subscription databases, library equipment loans. To create a ZTC course, instructors might use:
A great way to create ZTC courses is using "free" materials that are not open (so they can’t be modified) such as articles, documents, films, and more accessed through databases at the MJC Library & Learning Center.
Image: This work is marked as being in the public domain.
"Zero Textbook Cost." Skyline College, skylinecollege.edu/ztc/. Accessed 24 Oct. 2019.