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OER (Open Educational Resource)

Guide for faculty who would like to use OER materials

Welcome to your OCR resource guide for RCC

Image result for oer logo

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online to students, educators, and the general public. They include textbooks, quizzes, class exercises, videos, and other learning objects that have been openly licensed so that others can adopt or reuse this material for their own purposes. 

To be more specific, when we say that OERs are openly licensed, we mean that they can be retained, reused, revised, remixed, and redistributed. In practice this means:

  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 settings like classes, study groups, on websites, in videos, etc.
  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)

(See, UNESCO and OER Commons for the above definitions).

For a textbook to be considered open, it must be licensed in a way that grants a baseline set of rights to users that are less restrictive than its standard copyright. A licensor's list of permissions must be clearly stated by the author.

Generally, the minimum baseline rights allow users at least the following:

  • to use the textbook without compensating the author
  • to copy the textbook, with appropriate credit to the author
  • to distribute the textbook non-commercially
  • to shift the textbook into another format (such as digital or print)

Many authors also grant rights such as:

  • to add, remove or alter the content in the textbook
  • often on the condition that derivative works must have the same license
  • to copy and distribute the textbook without giving credit to the author
  • to use the textbook commercially

Wikipedia Open Textbook


Please enroll in the RCC OER Canvas course for continuing updates for training and resources. Amber Casoleri is our OER Liaison.

Library-Licensed Resources

While library-licensed resources are not OERs, they can be used in conjunction with OERs as a cost-saving measure. The RCC Library licenses resources including eBooks, journal articles, and databases that can be used by RCC faculty and students at no additional cost. We're happy to help you permalink this material into your class shell.

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