Open Educational Practices/Open Educational Resources

This lesson introduces open educational resources.

Creative Commons license spectrum

Objectives and Skills


Objectives and skills for this lesson include:

  • Understand the 5 Rs of open educational resources
  • Describe open licensing
  • Locate and review open educational resources
  • Edit and create open content


  1. Wikipedia: Open educational resources
  2. Defining the "Open" in Open Content and Open Educational Resources
  3. Wikipedia: Creative Commons license
  4. University of Hawaii: OER Training
  5. Lumen: Adopting Open Educational Resources in the Classroom


  1. YouTube: OER Basics
  2. YouTube: An Introduction to Open Educational Resources
  3. YouTube: Creative Commons and the 5 Rs of OER with Cable Green
  4. YouTube: OER, The 5Rs of Open, and Creative Commons Licenses
  5. YouTube: David Wiley: The Financial Potentials of Open Educational Resources
  6. YouTube: High Impact Practices for Integrating Open Educational Resources (OER) into University Courses
  7. YouTube: How can I find OER?
  8. YouTube: How to Find and Evaluate OER


  1. Understand the 5 Rs of open educational resources.
  2. Describe open licensing.
    • Review Wikipedia: Creative Commons license.
    • Create a new post or respond to existing posts to address one or more of the following questions:
      • Is open content copyrighted? How does an open license impact the copyright owner?
      • Which of the Creative Commons licenses are recommended for publishing open content, and why?
      • Which of the Creative Commons licenses are incompatible with each other?
  3. Locate open educational resources.
  4. Edit this page.
    • Review Wikiversity:Be bold. Wikis only work if people are bold.
    • Review your notes of new concepts or key terms from this lesson and compare them to the Lesson Summary and Key Terms listed below.
    • Be bold by improving this course wiki page using the Edit tab. For the Lesson Summary and Key Terms, include references for any content you add. If the Lesson Summary and Key Terms sections seem complete to you, review the Readings and Multimedia links for opportunities for improvement. But note, improving a wiki does not always mean adding to the wiki. Consider how much content you, yourself, are willing to view. Add, edit, update, delete, replace with links to better resources, etc. Your guide should always be to leave the wiki better than you found it.
  5. Reflect on open educational practices.
    • Reflect on what you learned in this introduction to open educational resources. What surprised you? What have you learned so far that you can apply to your own learning environment(s)? Post your reflection in the Piazza discussion forum, sharing it with either the entire class or one or more of the available discussion groups.
    • Review other reflection posts and respond to at least two that interest you. Post any questions you have that you would like others to address.

Lesson Summary


Additional items will be contributed by course participants

  • Creative Commons licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators.[2]
  • Copyright in the United States is automatically assigned to creators of work, with no content registration necessary. [3]
  • The 5 Rs of OER:[4]
    • Retain: the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
    • 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)
    • Revise: the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
    • 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)
    • 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)
  • Advantages of OER:[5]
    • Can be accessed anywhere and anytime
    • Ability to modify course materials
    • Enhancement of course materials
    • Rapid dissemination of information
    • Cost savings for students
  • Disadvantages:
    • Quality/reliability concerns[6]
    • Limitation of copyright property protection[6]
    • Technology issues for students[6]
    • Language and/or cultural barriers[7]
    • Sustainability[7]
  • Hosting technology can be an obstacle to true open access. One can use the ALMS Framework to evaluate ease of use.
    • Access to editing tools (which limits revision or remix capabilities)
    • Level of expertise required (to revise or remix)
    • Meaningfully editable (format of resource: scan or text file?)
    • Self-sourced (how does host format match editing format)

Key Terms


Additional items will be contributed by course participants

(Abbreviated "BY”) The obligation to credit the author and other parties designated for attribution. [8]
Creative Commons
(Abbreviated "CC") Provider of free copyright licenses to allow public permission to share and use work openly.[9]
Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) movement
Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software that can be classified as both free software and open-source software. [10]
(Abbreviated "NC"). You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work—and derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial purposes only.[11] NC means that the licenser reserves the right to exploit the material commercially. Any user who wishes to use the work for commercial purposes needs additional consent (i.e. an additional license) from the right holder.[12]
No Derivatives
(Abbreviated “ND”) Only verbatim copies of the work can be shared. [13] Anyone may create adaptations of works under an ND license so long as they do not share the work with others in adapted form. [14]
Open Content
(Abbreviated licensing code "CC0") Describes a creative work that others can copy or modify freely without asking for permission.[15]
Share Alike
(Abbreviated “SA”) Work can be modified and modified versions can be published but only under the original or a compatible licence.[16]

See Also


OER Lib Guides



  1. The Access Compromise and the 5th R
  2. Wikipedia: Creative Commons
  3. University of Hawaii, OER Training: Copyright, Creative Commons, and Public Domain.
  4. Definition
  5. "Open educational resources". Wikipedia. 2019-09-24. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Open educational resources". Wikipedia. 2019-09-24. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Pros/Cons and Evaluating OERs | Open Educational Resources at University of the Pacific | University of the Pacific Research | Scholarly Commons". Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  8. Wikimedia: A Practical Guide to using Creative Commons Licenses
  9. [1]
  10. Wikipedia: Free_and_open-source_software
  11. Wiki: Licensing Portal for Educators
  12. Wikimedia: A Practical Guide to using Creative Commons Licenses
  13. Wikimedia: A Practical Guide to using Creative Commons Licenses
  14. "3.3 License Types | Creative Commons Certificate for Educators and Librarians". Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  15. Wikipedia: Open content
  16. Wikimedia: A Practical Guide to using Creative Commons Licenses