Open Educational Resources (OER) – Advantages, Implications and Lists

oer-word-cloudOpen educational resources (OER) are digitized materials that are available for use and re-use in teaching, learning, and research, very often under a Creative Commons license.  In this page you can find out more about the many benefits – and some challenges – in using these valuable resources …

As part of the general and rapidly spreading open access movement, open educational resources have become extremely important for online and distance learning – both from the point of view of the teacher and the student.

The benefits of open educational resources (OER) courseware

Open educational resources are extremely important for teachers looking for lesson plans resources or for assisting institutions to get online programs up and running easily and quickly – and within the small budget that they are often working with.

Clearly there are many benefits of open access courseware, but the main ones  include:

  • Low or no cost to users, as products are generally free to access and download;
  • Shorter development cycle due to the collaborative, parallel efforts of developers;
  • Adaptability to suit own conditions.

But there are other challenges in using open educational resources in the development of educational courseware.

Open educational resources for teachers and students

Checkout these resource links on this site:

And checkout Project Gutenberg, which offers over 38,000 free ebooks.  All the ebooks were previously published by bona fide publishers, and have been digitized and diligently proofread with the help of thousands of volunteers.

Open Access Journals

Open Access Journals are ones that allow readers to access the contents without payment.  Click on the links in the navigation bar on the left to access the contents of the journals listed:

Finding open educational resources

There are now many open educational resources websites devoted to providing access for educationalists.  The challenge is to keep up with them all and to sort out the most useful for your own purpose.

By far the best way to find Creative Commons material is to use the Google advanced search and then specify the “Usage Rights” as “free to use, share and modify”.  That should bring up the latest list of stuff for any specific subject or area you choose.  You can use the Google search facility on this site to do this.

Another convenient way to search for open access material is to use search.creativecommons.org.  Note that this is not a search engine, but rather offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations.

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