When you're looking at options for using OER in your course, you have a few options: you can choose to adopt materials as-is, adapt materials to better meet your needs, or create new materials to share openly with other instructors. Use the following tabs to learn more about each of these options.
If there are high-quality, vetted Open Educational Resources available on the topic your course covers, and you do not feel the need to edit or otherwise alter them for use in your course, you might consider adopting them for use "as is." Adopting is the simplest way or including OER in your course, and the least time-intensive.
If there are OER available on the topic your course covers, but they are dated, too broad, or contain information which is beyond the scope of your course, you may want to consider adapting the materials. After checking that the Creative Commons license attached to the materials allows for adaptation, you may choose to edit the materials to tailor them to your course.
Alternately, if there are OER available on the topic your course covers, but no single resource is broad enough to cover the needs of your course, you may want to consider building an "OER course pack," a selection of various OER, free online materials, and websites which make up the resources for use in a course. Like traditional course packs, these sets of materials can be extremely versatile and adaptable for different uses.
If there are no high-quality OER available on your topic or if you have course materials that you believe are superior to the OER available to you online, you may want to consider creating or licensing your own course materials. Creating Open Educational Resources can be as simple as openly licensing and sharing a syllabus you currently use or sharing lesson plans on OER repositories like OER Commons.
Other OER creation processes, such as publishing open textbooks, can be more complex. You can work with the Digital Press or pursue a Miller Open Education Mini-Grant to support your work:
Click on the tabs below to learn more about Open Educational Resources!
This material is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at opencontent.org/definition
OER are openly-licensed, freely available educational resources that can be modified and redistributed by users.
|Material Type||Openly Licensed||Freely Available||Modifiable|
|Free Web-Based Resources Under Traditional Copyright||No||Yes||No|
|Subscription-Based Library Collections||No||Yes*||No|
|Open Access Articles & Monographs||Yes||Yes||No**|
*Library materials are free for students and faculty to access, but they are not free for the University.
**Some OA articles & monographs are able to be remixed, but authors often hold back these rights since their main concern is the free distribution of their scholarship, not its adaptation.
Open licenses like Creative Commons licenses are often used to communicate what a user can do with a resource, and what rights its author would like to retain. These licenses give others a variety of permissions, making their use or reuse of your resource a faster and more transparent process. For example, some creators may wish to share their work, but not to allow users to sell adaptations of their work.
The most common CC license is the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY). This license allows users to adapt and reuse content with limited restrictions. The only requirement for reusing a CC BY-licensed work is that any new work created must provide attribution to the original creator and a link to the original work.
For more information, visit our Creative Commons Library Guide.