Open Educational Resources: An Introduction

Engaging Student Learning

Open educational resources (OER) are types of course content that are free to use under an open license or are no longer protected by copyright and fall under public domain. OER has become prominent in higher education in recent years due to the growth of internet technologies, rising costs of education, and state legislation. They are often used in four-year universities as well as two-year community colleges to help lower the costs of supplies for students, diversify the types of learning materials in their courses, or provide supplemental materials to scaffold learning. Types of OER include textbooks, videos, images, homework exercises, interactive games or simulations, and lectures.  To learn more, see the following video and check out the Open Washington Open Educational Resources Network.

Finding OER Content

OER content will explicitly state that it is available under an open license, such as a Creative Commons License. The content may contain a license tile, symbol, phrase, or link to a website that explains how you must attribute the work and what you may do with the work. An open license implies permission to use and share according to license guidelines. If you choose to use OER content, you must attribute the author of the OER as directed wherever you share it.

The following list provides a few well-known sources of OER that you can use to enrich your courses.