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Open Educational Resources (OERs): What's an OER?

A guide for FHSU faculty and students to help navigate the world of OERs.

What's an OER?

OER stands for "Open Educational Resource." An OER is a piece of course material (such as a textbook, reading, video, slide deck, etc.) that has been made available under an open license. At a minimum, an open license allows you to make copies of the resource and give them to others, both of which are activities not usually allowed under copyright law:

Infographic about OERs

What's *NOT* an OER?

People sometimes make the mistake of referring to any free educational resource as an OER. This is incorrect. Only resources with an open license are OERs. However, there are lots of other types of zero-cost and low-cost resources:

Flowchart showing other types of free and low-cost resources

Intro to OERs video


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