1.2 Defining OER

You have just watched Clint talking about creating a free textbook for students at BCcampus, how the authors didn’t necessarily write every single component of the book but used images and animations that already existed online. He refers to this textbook as an open educational resource, an OER. In as much as it is meant for teaching and learning, we understand the textbook is ‘educational’, but ‘open’?

What do you think makes Clint’s textbook an open resource? Is it the fact that it is free? Is it because it is available on the internet? Is it because the authors reused the work of others? The following video explains in more detail what open educational resources are.

Open Education Matters: Why is it important to share content?
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We can say then that what makes a resource open is the manner in which we interact with it, what we can do with it. In this sense, it was David Wiley [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] who came up with the idea that for a resource to be open, one would have the freedom to:

  • Reuse – Use the content in a variety of ways.
  • Revise – Adapt, adjust, modify, improve, or alter the content (e.g., translate the content into another language).
  • Remix – Combine the original or revised content with other OER to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup).
  • Redistribute – Share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., post a copy of the content online for others to download).
  • Retain – Make, own, and control copies of the content.
Source: The 5R Permissions of OER, Lumen Learning.

Activity 1

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Think about your own work:

  • Which of these Rs do you already do?
  • Do you have any experience or examples that you would like to share?
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1.1 Have you ever ... ?

1.3 OER good or bad?