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Vol State Teaching & Learning Center

Open Educational Resources (OER): Overview

Learn about open educational resources (OER). Discover resources to help you find OER for use in the classroom.

What is OER?

UN logo Open Educational ResourcesOpen Educational Resources are "teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions."  – UNESCO

OER can include full courses, textbooks, or any instructional materials including images, videos, or documents associated with teaching and learning. – CCOER


5R Permissions – the core of OER

The 5R permissions or activities are the core of open educational resources. These five legal permissions are:

Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)

Reuse - the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)

Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)

Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)

Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)


SOURCE: "The 5R Permissions of OER" from What are open educational resources (OER)?| Lumen Learning

What is Vol State doing?

The College is a member of these organizations that support open learning.

Faculty at Vol State are adopting, adapting, and creating Open Educational Resources to use in their classes. 

OER Textbooks are used in 

  • CITC 1334
  • COMM 2045
  • PSYC 1030

OER content is used by professors teaching Education, English, Mechatronics, and Theater courses.

Other faculty across the College use free content or library resources to reduce material costs for students.

What are other colleges doing?

In this section are examples on the use of OER in Higher Education that  illustrate the various ways OER is being encouraged and implemented.

Teaching & Learning Center Resources

Guides from the TLC to assist faculty.