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?
Introduction to OER
Universities should consider using Open Education Resources (OERs) for many reasons:
DMC (Digital Media Commons at University of North Carolina Greensboro). "Costs of Textbooks." Youtube, 3 Nov. 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIza8rp79-w.
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.
What is copyright?
Copyright is the exclusive legal right given to the creator of a work (intellectual property) to distribute and reproduce that work.
How are OER affected by copyright?
Open Educational Resources (OER) are not just free. They are also free of legal restrictions. Remember the 5 Rs of Open? OER are resources that allow you to reuse, revise, remix, redistribute, and retain them. If you are unable to practice any of the 5 R’s of open content with a resource, that resource is not OER, even if it's free.
What is Fair Use?
Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows limited use of copyrighted material without seeking permission from the copyright owner. It is based on the belief that certain uses of copyrighted works, under certain circumstances, promote the public interest and do not infringe upon the rights of the copyright holder. Fair use is determined by considering four factors:
The T.E.A.C.H. Act
The T.E.A.C.H. Act is a set of regulations that covers the use of copyrighted materials in digital learning environments. The criteria for using these materials in your online class are as follows:
Copyright and Creative Commons Licensing
Works in the Public Domain have no copyright restrictions. These materials are "owned" by the public, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, even if they want to adapt or remix it. Works enter the public domain for a variety of reasons.
Visit this Copyrightlaws.com article to learn more about public domain.
The following websites contain eBooks & images that are available in the public domain: