Skip to main content

Faculty Guide to Open Educational Resources: OER Explained

OER Basics


5 R's

The Open Education movement is built around the 5 R's of Open. These represent the gold standard in openness:

  1. Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  2. Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in class, in study group, on a public website, in a video)
  3. Revise – the right to adapt, 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 open content to create something new (e.g., 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)


Adaptive Learning: an educational process that adapts teaching materials and methods to each student's individual needs.  Several software solutions use learning analytics to provide learning path to users.

Attribution - usually means identifying who has originally created a published work, may be a requirement of a license if an item is being re-purposed or reused

Creative Commons License - are applied to published work online and offer simple and clear information about what other people can and can't do with that work

Copyright - a form of intellectual property that gives the owner of an original work

Freemium - the model which a work is available digitally for free and in a print-on-demand format for a cost

MOOC - Massive Open Online Course:  an online course that is freely accessible to anyone and often includes open course materials and opportunities for interactions and collaboration between students

Open assessment - the process of making assessment of students work open and driven by community rather than closed and proprietary

Open content - content that is made available under an open license

Open courseware - courses or course components that are available under an open license

Public domain - works in the public domain are not subject to copyright because their original copyright was never established or has since expired

Repository - a place to put resources for safekeeping and dissemination