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Open Educational Resources: OER and OA (Open Access)

This LibGuide provides information relevant to open educational resources and open access. Please also take a look at the LibGuide on MOOCs

Open Educational Resources vs Open Access

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely available online materials that anyone can use for learning and/or teaching. Examples are courses- including MOOCs (Massive Online Open Course), lectures, teaching materials, assignments and various other resources. OERs are available in many different formats compatible with online usage most obviously text, images, audio and video.

Anyone with internet access can access and use OERs; access is not dependent on location or membership of a particular institution. OERs are particularly useful for researchers, teachers and learners. Educational institutions and providers enhance their websites by creating and maintaining access to OERs and service providers such as iTunes USlideShareYouTube and Jorum  also have many OERs to offer. 

OERs use Creative Commons (CC) licenses to ensure that materials can be used in a wide variety of ways e.g. edited, remixed, enhanced and copied.

Open Access (OA) refers to freely available content permanently online such as scholarly articles and journals. These resources can be reused and there is some scope for alteration. OER, on the other hand, encourages remixing and redistibution of the resource and covers a much wider range of materials.