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Open Educational Resources & Open Access for South African School Teachers / Educators: Introduction

This is an introduction to Open Educational and Open Access resources for school teachers on the African continent

About this Guide

This guide provides a starting point for South African school teachers in understanding Open Educational Resources and Open Access and how these may be used in the classroom. 

Please also see the library guide on Open Educational Resources for a more detailed overview.

Before exploring this guide further, please take a look a the following short videoclip which provides a very good introduction.

What are Open Educational Resources

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.   

Service providers such as SlideShareYouTube 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.

For further information on the background of OER in Africa, including South Africa see OER Africa

See the following:


Due to contractual and licensing agreements, access to some content may be restricted to the Unisa community.

Inclusion in this LibGuide does not imply University nor library endorsement of any ideas expressed.


What is Open Access

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 otherhand, encourages remixing and redistibution of the resource and covers a much wider range of materials.

Difference between OER and OA

The infographic below explains the difference between open education resources and open access

Sourced from: University of Michigan OER Toolkit