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Sadik Shahadu

What you need to know about Open Educational Resources (OER)

3 min read

So what is open educational resources (OER)?

OER is any material, tool or resource that uses an open license and is used for teaching and learning. These teaching and learning materials include video/audio tutorials, textbooks, stories, wikis, curriculum, podcasts, full courses etc.

OER´s are educational resources or learning materials that are freely and openly accessible to anyone under a license that permit users to remix, use, adapt, improve and redistribute. This can be achieved when people come together to share ideas and collaborate within an open community.

Every day, thousands of people collaborate either online or offline to produce these academic tools, resources and learning materials for free. This ensures that students from all over the world can have access to learning material at little or no cost. 

What can I do with OER?

The essence of OER is to primarily reduce the cost of educational materials. It also provides an avenue for students, instructors and other academic professionals to come together and share knowledge that can be adopted for teaching and learning. this allows others to reuse, remix, retain, or redistribute using an open license like Creative Commons licenses

Now let's dig further to understand some of the key terms:

  • Reuse: The right to be able to make use of any educational material in class, video/audio, personal blog, websites etc.

  • Remix: The right to combine original materials with the revised version to produce your own copy.

  • Retain: The right to own and control copies of materials that are originally owned by other people. you can download, manage, duplicate and store them.

  • Redistribute: The right to share original materials and or your remixes with others. Example, to give a copy to someone else.

What is the importance of OER?

OER has got so many benefits in terms of academic, social and economic conditions. Just imagine a world where lecturers can share their teaching materials with others. Economically, students won't have to spend a lot of money on course materials. 

Now let's take a closer look at benefits:

  • It helps students to save money

  • It helps instructors to build upon other people´s learning materials. 

  • It promotes access to education for disadvantaged students who would otherwise not have access to education due to the high cost of educational materials.

  • It improves students performance.