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Open Educational Resources: Definition


ECU Adopted OER Definitions Page 2

OER Basics

OERs and Copyright

According to the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources, "Open licensing does not replace copyright. Open licenses work with copyright to promote shared use. This changes the copyright from “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”

Full copyright- all rights reserved; Creative commons- some rights reserved; Public domain- no rights reserved

"Creative Commons: A User Guide" by Simone Aliprandi, Creative Commons Attirubtion-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported. 

Affordable Course Material Options

Effectiveness of OERs

OERs vs. Free to Access

There are many materials students and faculty can freely access online, including library resources. Only materials that have an open license or are in the public domain are OERs. This is because OERs must be open as defined by the 5R's:

See description below

From Rosario Passos. Licensed under CC By 4.0.


The 5 Rs of Open

  • Retain: Make and own a copy
  • Reuse: Use in a wide range of ways
  • Revise: Adapt, modify and improve
  • Remix: Combine two or more
  • Redistribute: Share with others