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OER: No-Cost/Low-Cost Options for Courses

Using Open Educational Resources (OER) and other options for Educational Materials for Saving Students Money

What are OER Resources?

 

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Open Educational Resources are "any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation."

https://en.unesco.org/themes/building-knowledge-societies/oer


Just because something is free, does not mean it is OER. Free does not equal open. To be considered OER, the material must have an open license. Open licenses enable what are called the 5R permissions:

An open license permits users of a resource to participate in the 5R activities of OER:

  • Retain:  Make, own, and control your own copy of the content
  • Reuse:   Use the content as-is
  • Revise:  Adapt, adjust, modify, improve, or alter the content
  • Remix:  Combine the original or revised content with other OER to create something new
  • Redistribute:  Share your copies of the original content, revisions or remixes with others

5R Definition adapted from David Wiley under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Read more about defining “open” in open educational resources.

Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons are open licenses give everyone from individual creators to large institutions a standardized way to grant the public permission to use their creative work under copyright law. From the reuser’s perspective, the presence of a Creative Commons license on a copyrighted work answers the question, “What can I do with this work?” 

The Creative Commons License Options

There are six different license types, listed from most to least permissive here:

  • CC BYThis license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.

CC BY includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator

 

  • CC BY-SA: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.

CC BY-SA includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
SA  – Adaptations must be shared under the same terms

 

  • CC BY-NC: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. 

It includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
NC  – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted

 

  • CC BY-NC-SA: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms. 

CC BY-NC-SA includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
NC  – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted
SA  – Adaptations must be shared under the same terms

 

  • CC BY-ND: This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. 

CC BY-ND includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
ND  – No derivatives or adaptations of the work are permitted

 

  • CC BY-NC-ND: This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. 

CC BY-NC-ND includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
NC  – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted
ND  – No derivatives or adaptations of the work are permitted

 

https://creativecommons.org/about/cclicenses/#by-nc-sa

 

OER Myths

SPARC (2017). OER Mythbusting. Washington, DC: SPARC. sparcopen.org/our-work/oer-mythbusting

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License