Open educational resources

What are open educational resources (OER)?

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an instructor, student or self-learner.

Examples of OERs include: full courses, course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.

The creation of OERs is informed by the five Rs of openness:

  • Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  • 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)
  • Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • 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)
  • 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)

Where can I find OER?

We have a catalog of sources to help you get started finding OER. 

Creating your own OER

The Open Waterloo page has a list of support resources available on campus to help you get started creating your own OER. 

In addition, a free course is available through the Open University, Creating open educational resources, that "will help you to write a learning course and provide you with links to various resources for open-learning materials. You will learn about the different purposes of self-instruction and receive advice about the techniques and strategies to help the learner."

Upon completing this course, "you should be able to:

  •  state personal motivation for producing and using OERs
  •  evaluate some examples of educational resources for active open learning
  •  plan a structured learning experience using a range of resources
  •  produce, release and use OER
  •  understand how to evaluate teaching resources."