OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES (OER): Teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits repurposing by others.
Open educational resources, or OER, are openly licensed materials created by instructors like you on a range of disciplines and subjects. Unlike traditionally published materials with strict copyrights, OER are published on the web and are designed and licensed for others to edit and reuse them.
The idea behind OER is that education is about sharing and building on the ideas of others. You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel or stick with whatever a publisher makes available. OER allow you to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute a variety of course materials (see "The 5 R's of OER" section for more information).
OER might be textbooks, worksheets, assignments, tests, presentations, simulations, or even full courses. And unlike copyrighted content, you can take these materials and keep or change as much or as little as you want.
All SUNY campuses abide by the following definition to determine whether a course qualifies for OER designation:
Because they are licensed for open access, OER's remove barriers for both faculty and students. Faculty are free to customize OER content to fit their course. Students are free to access OER content from anywhere, at any time, from day-one of classes till a refresher is needed years later (learning is a lifelong activity).
In addition to improved accessibility, there are many other reasons for faculty to use an OER:
The terms "open content" and "open educational resources" describe any copyrightable work (traditionally excluding software, which is described by other terms like "open source") that is licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:
It is crucial to note the distinction between "Free" and "Open"; without the 5 R's, free content is not actually open. "Fauxpen" materials can include library materials, some rights reserved materials, and other content that feels open but is not.
This material is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at http://opencontent.org/definition/.