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Education Research Guide

Tools and resources for finding research and information in Education subject areas

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Do It Yourself OER

Faculty and instructors develop curricular materials all the time! Have you ever thought of sharing your materials as OERs? You can see from this Guide that everything from lesson plans to course modules to interactive learning materials to digital textbooks can be designed and shared as OER.  Here are some resources to help you get started.

First things first: Copyright and licensing:

Ready to share your OER?

Open Textbook Repositories

Open textbooks and alternatives to textbooks are particularly important as we all strive to lower costs for our students.  The OER movement has grown significantly such that many vetted OER of high quality exist. 

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources (OERs) comprise a wide range of open educational materials (including textbooks, tutorials, lesson plans, simulations, media, entire courses, resources, course materials, lectures, and more) that are specifically created and licensed to be freely used and reused.   

Many OERs have been created and openly licensed to grant users full permissions rights, allowing the so-called 4Rs of openness* defined in 2010 by David Wiley, Education Fellow at Creative Commons:

------------- Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute -------------

Some OER advocates have expanded the original framework to include an important 5th R of Retain.  

Openly licensed vs Open access:  However, there are also other open education resources that are freely available for use / reuse on the web, but have specific terms of use that may not grant permissions for all 4Rs (or 5Rs).  Khan Academy videos and digital books from some publishers are good examples of education resources that are indeed open access (available to anyone on the web) yet have specific limits as to revising, remixing, and so on. There is some debate on how to define OERs vs open access resources that are not openly licensed. Yet both can easily be used in traditional and online classes and other education environments.

This Guide page presents a mix of openly licensed OERs as well as open access education resources.  Always look for Creative Commons licensesGNU licenses, or other terms of use for the resource you've found.  These will help you know what you can freely and ethically do.

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* See D. Wiley, Openness as Catalyst for an Educational Reformation, 
EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 45, no. 4 (July/August 2010): 14–20

US Dept. of Education Open Licensing Rule - Read me!

General Open Education Resources

Disciplinary OER in the Social Sciences

Disciplinary OER in the Arts & Humanities

Disciplinary OER in the Sciences

Your Librarian

Susan A. Vega García's picture
Susan A. Vega García
Contact:
Head of Instruction
Associate Professor
140 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50011
(515) 294-4052

Credits

Creative Commons Statement