What are Open Educational Resources?
As professors, instructors, or students, we have two jobs: to expand our understanding of our world, and to share what we’ve learned – the knowledge we’ve gained – with others. To do this, we need to remove any possible barriers that might prevent others from benefitting from that knowledge. The move by Canada’s research agencies and universities towards open access to research findings is indicative of the growing interest in removing impediments from the public’s access to what is essentially a public good.
Open Educational Resources (OERs) let us do the same thing on the pedagogical side of the ledger. OERs are teaching materials – e.g. textbooks, lecture materials, learning activities, assessments – that have been made available free of charge to others for them to use, adapt, and redistribute.
What are the 5Rs of OERs?
David Wiley (quoted above), came up with the following five characteristics that identify educational resources as open:
And since this is a German studies site, why don’t we take a look at the 5 Vs, i.e. die deutsche Version of the 5 Rs:
This five-minute video by Brandeis University librarian Lance Eaton walks you through everything we’ve just learned above, explains the Creative Commons licensing process, and points you to some OER resources and repositories – it’s a solid recap of the most important things you need to know about OERs.