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Open Educational Resources (OER): Introduction to OER

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are free and accessible teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their use and re-purposing by others.

Open educational resources include full courses, course content/materials, textbooks, modules, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.

Open Educational Resources (OER) provide everyone with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:

  • Retain - make, own, and control a copy of the resource
  • Reuse - use your original, revised, or remixed copy of the resource publicly
  • Revise - edit, adapt, and modify your copy of the resource
  • Remix - combine your original or revised copy of the resource with other existing material to create something new
  • Redistribute - share copies of your original, revised, or remixed copy of the resource with others

Understanding Open Access

Benefits of Using OER

Using Open Educational Resources (OER) has the following benefits:

  • Accessibility - Students can access OERs at any time and as many times as needed
  • Affordability - OERs reduce direct student costs for textbooks
  • Scalability - OERs are easy to distribute widely with little or no cost
  • Relevance and Adaptability - Unlike textbooks and other static sources of information, OERs can be improved quickly through direct editing by users or through solicitation and incorporation of user feedback. Instructors can take an existing OER, adapt it for a class, and make the modified OER available for others to use.
  • Augment and Enhance Regular Course Content - OERs can supplement existing course content where textbook information may be incomplete or not readily updated
  • Improved Academic Success - OERs remove barriers to accessing educational materials, such as time and money, allowing students to focus on their academic success

Using OER

For assistance finding OER resources and integrating them into your courses contact:

Cynthia Brissey
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs


Beth Rogers
Director of Library Services

Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library
59 College Ave.
Buckhannon, WV 26201