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Open Educational Resources at Cape Cod Community College: What is OER

Open Educational Resources

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials that are freely available for use, reuse, modification, and sharing.

These resources can include:

  • Textbooks
  • Lecture notes
  • Lesson plans
  • Quizzes
  • Videos
  • Interactive modules
  • Simulations, and more.

OER are typically released under open licenses, such as Creative Commons licenses, which grant users the permissions to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute the content.

Open Education Fact Sheet

  • OER fact sheet from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).


What makes them Open?

The Open Education movement is built around the 5Rs of Open [2].  Open Educational Resources are licensed in such a way that enables adopters to utilize the 5 Rs:

  • 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 
  • Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself 
  • Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with the other open content to create something new
  • Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others

Some OER Examples

Principles of Marketing is designed to meet the scope and sequence for a one-semester marketing course for undergraduate business majors and minors. Principles of Marketing provides a solid grounding in the core concepts and frameworks of marketing theory and analysis so that business students interested in a major or minor in marketing will also be prepared for more rigorous, upper-level elective courses. Concepts are further reinforced through detailed, diverse, and realistic company and organization scenarios and examples from various industries and geographical locations. To illuminate the meaningful applications and implications of marketing ideas, the book incorporates a modern approach providing connections between topics, solutions, and real-world problems. Principles of Marketing is modular, allowing flexibility for courses with varied learning outcomes and coverage.


11-week Schedule for Introduction to Medical Terminology AH100  from Rogue Community College.


Overview: Outlines the 11-week schedule for students to successfully gain an introductory understanding of medical terminology/ Includes chapter links, learning objectives, and units of study.   

Subject: Health, Medicine and Nursing, Biology

Level: Community College / Lower Division 
Material Type: Reading, Student Guide, Syllabus


MIT Open Courseware

MIT has created several undergraduate courses that are entirely open. This means that all materials produced or used in the course are available online under Creative Commons licenses, including presentation slides, lecture videos, course readings, all assignments or exercises, exams, and more. 

For example, a person interested in OERs related to mathematics and statistics might use:

Open readings with assigned questions for students

Open problem sets with interactive solutions

Open exams

Open lecture videos

Open presentation slides


All of the above materials created by Jeremy Orloff, and Jonathan Bloom. 18.05 Introduction to Probability and Statistics, Spring 2014. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 18 Dec, 2015). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Why OER?

Creative Commons Licensed by The Council of State School Officers

Evaluating OER

With so many free resources available online, it is often difficult to determine which content is most appropriate to use.  Below are some helpful tools to assist you in evaluating an open educational resource.

Remember to keep your student learning outcomes in mind and to modify any exams, assignments, or assessments to reflect the new resources.

Where Can I Learn More?

OER Commons

The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) launched the OER Commons in 2007, to support and build a knowledge base around the use and reuse of open educational resources (OER).  As a network for teaching and learning materials, the site offers engagement with resources for curriculum alignment, quality evaluation, social bookmarking, tagging, rating, and reviewing.


The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication.  View their helpful OER Fact Sheet to learn more about Open Educational Resources, how they are used, and why they are important.

is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication - See more at:
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition - See more at:
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition - See more at:

OER Starter Toolkits

Faculty OER Toolkit

The Faculty OER Toolkit by Shannon Moist is an information resource about and guide to adapting and adopting Open Educational Resources. Included are definitions and examples, information about Creative Commons licensing, and tips on how to adapt and/or adopt OER for classroom use.

The OER Starter Kit

The OER Starter Kit by Abbey Elder provides instructors with an introduction to the use and creation of open educational resources (OER). The text is broken into five sections: Getting Started, Copyright, Finding OER, Teaching with OER, and Creating OER. Although some chapters contain more advanced content, the starter kit is primarily intended for users who are entirely new to Open Education.

Open Educational Resources Toolkit

The White Rose Libraries Open Educational Resources Toolkit from the universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, provides information and tools to help faculty and library staff to understand, engage with, and sustain OER in their work and practice. 

DHE's Open Educational Resources Initiative

The OER Advisory Council is comprised of one representative from each of the 28 undergraduate-serving public institutions. The advisory council serves to expand OER use on campuses and to provide advice and counsel for statewide OER implementation. The statewide OER advisory council and the statewide OER coordinator are responsible for implementing the short-term recommendations and developing plans, after conducting additional research, for how to implement the mid and long-term recommendations.