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What is OER?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are instructional materials licensed for repurposing, modification, and distribution. Note that "Free" content is not necessarily open, as open content requires permissions beyond mere availability. Copyright law protects tangible creative works, allowing authors to control ownership, use, and distribution. To make an instructional material “Open” a Creative Commons (CC) license can be applied to the work to enable the author’s right to share their work with specific permissions that allow others to reuse, revise, remix, and/or redistribute the original work while the author retains ownership of the original work.

OER formats can be digital or printable and include but are not limited to: images; videos, tutorials; lectures, audio podcasts; interactive games and simulations; infographics; e-books/open texts; quizzes; and whole courses.

Review the additional resources:

  • ISU LibGuides | Is it an OER?
    Comprehensive guide to determine if a resource qualifies as Open Educational Resource (OER) and other library resources.
  • OpenContent.org | Defining the "Open" in Open Content and Open Educational Resources 
    Open content is freely available material with legal permission for use, sharing, and adaptation by anyone for any purpose.
  • Copyright.gov | Frequently Asked Questions 
    The U.S. Copyright Office FAQ provides clear answers to common copyright questions, including registration, fair use, and infringement remedies. Libguides
  • ISU Libguides | Copyright Basics
    Comprehensive guide to copyright basics, including fair use, classroom use, and open educational resources.
  • CreativeCommons.org | Frequently Asked Questions 
    Creative Commons FAQ provides information on CC licenses, how they work, how to use them, and related topics.