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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources (OER)

In this guide, you can: 

  • Learn about Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Review research about the impact of OER
  • Find alternatives to traditional textbooks
  • Explore how LinkedIn Learning can be used by students
  • Discover resources for instruction and assessment with OER materials

What is OER?
"Open educational resources (OER) refers to educational resource materials for teaching and learning that can be utilized by instructors and students for free. These resources are typically published without a traditional copyright so that instructors and students of any institution can use the materials in multiple ways and over multiple distributions without paying to do so. Traditional copyright licenses give authors restrictive control over how their work will be distributed and how they will be compensated for this distribution. Openly licensed resources are designed to allow authors the opportunity to share their work more liberally and without compensation.

While not all OER are digital, most are online to enable ease of finding and sharing resources without added cost. OER can take many forms, including free and openly licensed textbooks, open assessments, open courseware, free simulations, learning objects, images, graphics, film clips, and sound clips. This entry provides an overview of OER, then explores the benefits of and challenges to implementing OER in higher education."

Yatzeck, J. C. (2020). Open educational resources. In M. Amey & M. David (Eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Higher Education. Sage UK. Retrieved October 31, 2023, from


Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others. Visit this guide by UNESCO to learn more.

OER Commons
OER Commons is a public digital library of open educational resources. Explore, create, and collaborate with educators around the world to improve curriculum.

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)
SPARC is a non-profit advocacy organization that supports systems for research and education that are open by default and equitable by design.