Skip to main content

Open Educational Resources: Welcome

A clearinghouse of OER, including learning object repositories, open course repositories, scholarly repositories, open textbooks, and information about open learning/education in general.

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Education or Open Learning is a peer-to-peer way of doing things. It takes advantage of the Internet, particularly web 2.0 technologies, for sharing, finding, and adapting resources. 

Open Educational Resources (OER) are licensed with a GNU Public License (for software) or a Creative Commons License (for all other kinds of intellectual property) so that they are free to be used and adapted without paying or having to ask for permission.

  • OER save time and effort and diffuse innovations and best practices by allowing educators to use one anothers' work.
  • OER reduce the burden on academic libraries' acquisitions budgets, which have been under increasing strain from the cost of scholarly journals, whose price increases have far outstripped the general rate of inflation.
  • OER make higher education more affordable to students, who often have difficulty affording their required textbooks. 
  • OER make educational opportunities available to teachers and learners in impoverished areas and developing nations, and to learners whose life circumstances don't permit them to attend formal education.

OER include

  • entire courses
  • courseware
  • learning objects of all kinds
  • tools for creating learning objects
  • textbooks
  • open access articles and other scholarly works

Related ideas:

  • Open Education or Open Learning - synonyms for Open Educational Resources.
  • Open Content - texts, images, audio-video resources, and other kinds of intellectual property that are made available for users to copy, share, and remix under a Creative Commons license. Open Educational Resources are a kind of Open Content.
  • Open Source - software that is available for anyone to use or adapt without asking permission or paying under a GNU Public License. Moodle is an Open Source LMS.
  • Open Access - scholarly articles that are made available to readers for free. Gratis Open Access articles are free to read but not free to copy, share, or adapt. Libre Open Access articles are free to read, copy, share, and remix. Libre Open Access articles are a kind of Open Content.
  • Open Textbooks - full ebooks, chapters, and modules that are free to use, copy, share, and remix under a Creative Commons license. Open Educational Resources are a kind of Open Content.

    OER Consortia and Organizations

    Your Librarians

    Sarah Morehouse's picture
    Sarah Morehouse

    Please note: If you need to request accommodations with content linked to on this guide, on the basis of a disability, please contact Disability Services by emailing them at  Requests for accommodations should be submitted as early as possible to allow for sufficient planning. If you have questions, please visit the disability services website

    (800) 847-3000 x2222

    Hours of operation:
    * Mon-Thu 9-9
    * Fri 9-5
    * Sun 1-9

    Search our FAQ or email us a question

    Feel free to copy and adapt this guide and its contents for your own use

    Creative Commons License
    Open Educational Resources, Open Textbooks, and Creative Commons by Sarah Morehouse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.