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Faculty OER Toolbox: Introduction to OER

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse, without charge. That means they have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights. For some of these resources, that means you can download the resource and share it with colleagues and students. For others, it may be that you can download a resource, edit it in some way, and then re-post it as a remixed work. OER often have a Creative Commons or GNU license that state specifically how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared. -- from OER Commons


Did you know?

  • The cost barrier kept 2.4 million low and moderate-income college-qualified high school graduates from completing college in the first decade of this century.*
  • 50% of community college students were food insecure.**
  • 46% were housing insecure.**
  • 12% were homeless.**
  • About 2/3 of students borrow to get through school.***
  • The average student borrower in North Carolina owes more than $25,562 in student loans (Class of 2015).***



*The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance,

**2018 Still Hungry and Homeless in College, study available at:


***The Institute for College Access & Success Project on Student Debt, available at:

Introduction to OER

The 5 Rs of Open

A material licensed in a way that makes it an OER will allow five types of use. They are:

1. Retain:  You can keep the work forever.

2. Reuse:  You can use the work for your own purpose.

3. Revise:  You can adapt, modify, or translate the work.

4. Remix:  You can combine it with another resource to make a new work.

5. Redistribute:  You can share the work with others.

For more information on OER and Creative Commons licenses, visit the NC LIVE OER Guide

Where to find more information

OER Adoption Grants

Open Education North Carolina logo






Open Education North Carolina (OENC) is NC LIVE's statewide OER textbook initiative. Click here to learn more or to apply for a $1,000 faculty adoption grant to implement an OER textbook in your course.