Skip to Main Content

Open Educational Resources (OER): Home

Open Educational Resources

This guide was created to give instructors, students, and staff background information on what Open Educational Resources (OER) are, why it is crucial to consider them as an affordable option for students' course materials, where to find some OER, and the types of open licenses.

For more information on OER please contact Angela Chikowero at

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials that are in the public domain or are licensed to allow free use and reuse by anyone. These resources can be licensed under an open Creative Commons license which allows for retaining, remixing, revising, reusing, and redistributing of the resources. The OER can include:

  • articles
  • textbooks
  • maps  
  • media
  • assignments
  • videos and other formats

Open Educational Resources, open education policies, and teaching practices are all a part of Open Education. William and Flora Hewlett Foundation concisely define Open Education and OERs as follows,

At Hewlett, we use the term 'open education' to encompass 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... - William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. "Open Educational."

Attribution:“An Introduction to Open Educational Resources” by Abbey Elder is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 International license

Resources on OER

Attribution: Open Educational Resources: A Brief Explanation, by Lance Eaton Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)


This work was created by Angela Chikowero at the UCSB Library and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License