Open Education

"Open Educational Resources are defined as ‘technology-enabled, open provision of educational resources for consultation, use and adaptation by a community of users for non-commercial purposes.’ They are typically made freely available over the Web or the Internet. Their principle use is by teachers and educational institutions to support course development, but they can also be used directly by students. Open Educational Resources include learning objects such as lecture material, references and readings, simulations, experiments and demonstrations, as well as syllabuses, curricula, and teachers’ guides." (Wiley, 2006)

Examples of OER material

  • Course materials
  • Lesson plans
  • Modules or lessons
  • Open courseware (OCW)
  • Open textbooks
  • Videos
  • Images
  • Tests
  • Software
  • Any other tools, materials or techniques used to support ready access to knowledge

Characteristics of OER

Generally accepted to be:

  • Digital
  • Easily modified
  • Free distribution

has an Open License that allows others to:

  • Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute

at a low cost

  • which reduces the barriers to education

To learn more about open licensing, adopting or adapting textbooks, or creating open resources, see

Find open textbooks

Adopt or adapt open textbooks

Create a textbook

Open licensing


Most of the contents from this section were adapted from Goldberg, E.J. and LaMagna, M. (2012). Open Education Resources in Higher Education: A Guide to Online Resources. C&RL News

Contact the Office of Scholarly Communication if you have questions on any of these areas or have further suggestions for development.