Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Open Educational Resources: What are Open Educational Resources?

What are OER?

"The myriad of learning resources, teaching practices and education policies that use the flexibility of OER to provide learners with high quality educational experiences. Creative Commons defines OER as teaching, learning, and research materials that are either (a) in the public domain or (b) licensed in a manner that provides everyone with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities – retaining, remixing, revising, reusing and redistributing the resources."

- Hewlett Foundation (n.d.)

An Introduction to OER

"An Introduction to Open Educational Resources" by Abbey Elder is licensed under a Creative Commons 4.0 International license.

Learn more

5R's of Openness

What does it mean for a learning resource to be "open"? The 5R framework, developed by David Wiley, defines the major characteristics of "open" content.

  1. Retain: the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  2. Reuse: the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise: the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix: the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute: the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

This material was created by David Wiley and published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at Clarifying and Strengthening the 5Rs.

Why use OER?

"A Review of the Effectiveness & Perceptions of Open Educational Resources As Compared to Textbooks" by Research Shots is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed).

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Elena Kuzmina
Contact Info:
Downtown Campus, Room 242H
(604) 871 - 7000 ext. 8346

Content by Vancouver Community College Library is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License