Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely available educational material that the author has licensed allow others to re-use and adapt.  In many cases these have been assigned a Creative Commons licence  indicating free use.

With OER content, ensure you assess for quality, currency and relevance and check the license conditions.  Additionally, review the educational value of the resource as to subject relevance and pedagogical ‘fit’ of the content within the teaching program.

For more information on strategies for teaching and learning with Open Resources, refer to QiLT: Quality in Learning and Teaching

OER sites

Full-package courses

  • Connexions: Offers the ability to create and repurpose content for inclusion in a course.
  • MIT OpenCourseWare: Includes lecture notes, online textbook material, assignments, exams and multimedia.
  • Open Course Library: Allows you to integrate any or all elements of the syllabus including lessons, discussion topics, readings and assignments.

Video

  • Academic Earth: An independent non-profit collection of videos from the lecture-halls of universities around the world.
  • World Lecture Project: World Lecture Project is the central platform for delivering academic videos from faculties worldwide.
  • Khan Academy: Offers open educational resources primarily in mathematics and science.
  • TEDEd: TED is a non-profit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.

Resource databases

  • JORUMOPEN: Repository of learning and teaching materials.
  • HUMBOX: This repository of online educational content offers resources in a variety of disciplines.
  • ACADEMIC COMMONS: Free web-based resources for academic professionals focusing on liberal arts education.
  • Merlot: Offers access to learning objects, full course curricula, open access journals, assessment tools, open textbooks and discipline-specific pedagogical resources.
  • OER Commons: Offers a range of materials for use in educational setting from primary to tertiary levels.

Journal Articles

Maps

Textbooks

  • Flatworld Knowledge: This for-profit publisher offers open access textbooks, primarily in business.
  • Global Textbook Project: Global Textbook Project seeks provides access to free, quality textbooks.
  • National Academies Press: A number of National Academies Press can be downloaded for free in PDF format.
  • Smarthistory: An award-winning, multimedia, online art history textbook.
  • WikiBooks: Offering more than 2,000 titles, WikiBooks offers access to open textbooks written collaboratively

Images

Sound effects

 

Licensing

These are resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.   Once released, the resources can be used by a learner, reused by a teacher, remixed with other resources or repurposed to create new educational materials.

Open educational resources often involve issues relating to intellectual property rights.  However, alternative and more flexible licensing options have become available as a result of the work of Creative Commons, an organisation that provides ready-made licensing agreements that are less restrictive than the "all rights reserved" terms of standard international copyright.