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Open Educational Resources  

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Open Educational Resources

What are Open Educational Resources?

“Open Education Resources (OERs), are educational materials which are licensed in ways that provide permissions for individuals and institutions to re-use, adapt and modify the materials for their own use. OERs can, and do include full courses, textbooks, streaming videos, exams, software, and any other materials or techniques supporting learning.” -     OER Foundation definition.



Getting Started

Start with understanding Creative Commons (CC) Australia. Most of OER are under terms of Creative Commons.

Use the tabs at the top of the guide to find the relevant resources for you:

  • For Educators - teaching materials, such as syllabi, lecture notes, assignment, lab manuscript, lab reports.
  • For Learners - free or affordable textbooks and other course materials.

Useful Resource:

Educause. (2010) 7 Things You Should Know About Open Educational Resources.


Tools for Finding OER


  • International e.g. MERLOT
  • National e.g. JISC's Jorum
  • Institutional e.g. Wisconsin Technical Colleges WISC-Online
  • Discipline specific e.g. the UK Humanities repository HumBox
  • Teaching techniques (Australian)  e.g. enRole
  • Resource type e.g. Wikimedia Commons


Federated searches
Sites providing searches across multiple OER repositories are being developed, examples include:


Collections of OER sites

Open Image Sharing

  • Flickr: Creative Commons  Icon  Icon
    Creative commons subset of the Flickr image and video hosting website. Browse or search through content under each type of CC licence.
  • New York Public Library Digital Collections  Icon  Icon
    Online access to digitised drawings, illuminated manuscripts, maps, photographs, posters, prints, rare illustrated books, videos, and audio from the collections of the New York Public Library.
  • Trove: Pictures, Photos, Objects (National Library of Australia)  Icon  Icon  Icon
    Search photographs, negatives, artworks, drawings, posters, postcards and other pictures, as well as physical objects such as puzzles, instruments and clothing. Images are from Australian institution collections and Australian Flickr content.
    Refer to individual records for reproduction rights.

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