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Get Up To Speed with OER

This is a self-paced tutorial for faculty and staff to learn about Open Educational Resources - what they are, how to find and evaluate them, how to adapt and create them, and how to handle the copyright and technical implications.

Your Librarians

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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 Accessibility Resources and 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 Accessibility Resources and Services website

(800) 847-3000 x2222

Normal Hours
- Sun: 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.
- Mon-Thu: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
- Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Summer Hours
(Memorial Day - Labor Day)
- Sun: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
- Mon-Thu: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
- Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Winter Break Hours
(End of Fall 1 - beginning of Spring 1)
- Sun: Closed
- Mon-Thu: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

(Christmas week 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

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What Is Openness?

Learning Objectives

Once you’ve completed this module, you’ll be able to:

  • Define the term Open Educational Resource and explain the principle of Openness in legal, technical, and societal contexts.
  • Explain how OERs can be used in teaching and learning.
  • Discuss the benefits and opportunities versus the costs and risks of using OERs.

Three things make OER different from (and we would argue, better than) any freely available, online educational resources:

  • The values and principles behind creating and sharing them.

  • The methods and best practices that flow from those values and principles.

  • The Creative Commons license that makes it all legal.

As an introduction to the idea of Open Educational Resources (OER) please watch this video, which was the second place winner in the 2012 Why Open Education Matters video competition, sponsored by the Creative Commons, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Open Society Foundations. Password: OER (3:05).

This tutorial is openly licensed under the Creative Commons

Creative Commons License
OER Up To Speed by Sarah Morehouse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The original work is located at

This resource is a derivative work of the original OER 101 course created by Sarah Morehouse, Mark McBride, Kathleen Stone, Beth Burns, Greg Ketchum. That course was housed in CourseSites and was licensed CC BY. 

For an HTML or XML backup of the current version of the course, please email


If you've made a copy, revision or remix, I would love to hear about it! Email me at