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Copyright

What are Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials that are free to be used, adapted, copied, displayed, and distributed. Because they are free, OER can save you, your institution, and your students money.

OER are defined by the 5 R's:

  • Retain - creators own and control copies of their educational resources
  • Reuse - educators and students can use educational resources in a variety of scenarios and formats without copyright concerns such as Fair Use compliance
  • Revise - educational resources can be freely adjusted or adapted
  • Remix - educational resources can be freely combined and mixed with other materials
  • Redistribute - educators and students can freely share with each other their educational resources and any changes they've made to educational resources

Teachers and learners can modify and alter learning materials to better meet the unique needs of students and course objectives. And with the ability to share remixed learning materials, OER also provide more options to teach and learn a wider range of topics and subjects using a more diversified set of pedagogical activities and formats.

Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons (CC) licenses allow creators and authors to retain some of their rights to their works while forfeiting others. These licenses allow educators and students to copy, distribute, and adapt OERs for free.

What you are allowed to do with a CC licensed work depends on the type of CC license used by the author or creator. Not every CC license qualifies as an OER because some do not meet all of the requirements of the 5 Rs.

Click each tab to learn about the different CC licenses and whether works with those licenses will qualify as OER.

Attribution, CC BY

This license lets you distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as you credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered.

Works with this license qualify as OER because they allow for each of the 5 Rs.

Attribution ShareAlike, CC BY-SA

A work with this license lets you remix, adapt, and build upon this work even for commercial purposes, as long as you credit the creator and license any new creations under the identical terms. All new works based on a work with this license will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.

Works with this license qualify as OER because they allow for each of the 5 Rs.

Attribution NonCommercial, CC BY-NC

A work with this license lets you remix, adapt, and build upon it but for non-commercially purposes only. You must also provide attribution to the original creator.

Works with this license qualify as OER because they allow for each of the 5 Rs.

Attribution NoDerivaties, CC BY-ND

A work with this license lets you reuse the work for any purpose, including commercially. You must provide credit, but it cannot be adapted into a new form and then shared with others.

Works with this license do not qualify as an OER because users are not free to revise or remix the work.

Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike, CC BY-NC-SA

A work with this license allows you to remix, adapt, and build upon the original work non-commercially. You must credit the original creator and license their new creations under the same license.

Works with this license qualify as OER because they allow for each of the 5 Rs.

Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives, CC BY-NC-ND

This license is the most restrictive of the six licenses. You are only allowed to download a work and share it with others as long as you credit the original author, but you can’t change the work in any way or use it commercially.

Works with this license do not qualify as an OER because users are not free to revise or remix the work.

Open Educational Resources