Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The terms "open content" and "open educational resources" describe any copyrightable work (traditionally excluding software, which is described by other terms like "open source") that is licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:

  1. Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)

  2. Reuse - the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)

  3. Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)

  4. Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)

  5. Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)


  • CLT Event - Online and Open Resources for Learning, February 20, 2015

  • Binghamton University Libraries’ Open Educational Resources - This guide provides details about how the open access movement is impacting academic education and how to find appropriate low cost or zero cost materials for academic courses.

  • OER Commons is a dynamic digital library and network. Explore open education resources and join our network of educators dedicated to curriculum improvement.

  • MERLOT - Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching - Take some time to explore MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching). MERLOT is a curated collection of OERs used and shared by an international education community. You may search for your particular subject and peruse the MERLOT collection. The material is also peer reviewed, and you will also see a user rating and discussion comments about the resource. When you click on a particular item, you will be taken to a detailed page about that item and a “go to material” link where you can see the content and that you can ultimately share with your students.

  • Open SUNY Affordable Learning Solutions (ALS) - ALS is a SUNY initiative to provide affordable educational alternatives to traditional textbooks. Explore ALS and learn about SUNYOERs available to you.

  • OER Sources for Faculty, originally created by Lumen Learning - This is a list of OER finders that maybe be helpful to you as you seek out traditional textbook alternatives. Click on a few of the links to explore. Each is set up differently and some may require that you register.

  • Creative Commons Search - The Creative Commons Search gives you access to material created using Creative Commons licensing. Simply enter your search query and explore the resulting content. You may also use a Creative Commons license to share information that you create; this allows others to share your work with attribution, and you may further designate your material as share-alike, non-commercial and no derivative works.


This material is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.