Open Educational Resources

About Open Educational Resources

One of the most widely accepted definitions for the scope and use of OER material comes from UNESCO (2002) describing them as
the open provision of educational resources, enabled by information and communication technologies, for consultation, use and adaptation by a community of users for non-commercial purposes.

Globally, hundreds of thousands of OERs exist, and this number continues to grow through repositories such as OER Commons, Jorum and WikiEducator. Universities such as Stanford, MIT, Yale, and Harvard as well as organisations like NASA provide open content for others to use, reuse and adapt.

Why use Open Educational Resources?

Including OER material can benefit your course by: • allowing greater flexibility in the types of resources which can be easily included
• enhancing the potential of the course to include multiple viewpoints and an international perspective on the discipline
• greater efficiency in course content product (supported by Creative Commons Licensing)
• empowering self-directed learning for students by introducing resources which are still available post-graduation
The most common misconception is that OER material is adopted at the cost of academic quality; but selecting an OER for inclusion in a course is no different to any other type of resource. The same critical skills exercised by course teams in selecting journal articles, textbooks, websites and other learning and teaching resources are applied.

Finding OER content

• The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) maintains a list of OER repositories.
• Contact Adrian Stagg, eLearning Designer, (Learning Resources Development) for assistance with educational design and the use of Open Educational Resources
• Or Tahnee Pearse, Copyright Information Officer (Library Services) for assistance with copyright queries relating to OERs.

Additional Resources

• What are Open Educational Resources? (JISC) • Learning and Teaching considerations for OERs
• OER University (USQ is a founding anchor partner)

See Also: Creative Commons