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Open Education Resources--OER: OER 101

OER Defined

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teachinglearning 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.

Not open items:
Paid subscription items that allow sharing and modifications.
Curated packages of materials for a fee. Although the items themselves may be open, users are paying for the convenience and expertise.

Affordable Content (sometimes called Affordable Course Content or ACC): low cost to students (can be derived from a library subscription, rental text, digital materials offered below print materials price, etc.). There should be equity in cost regarding the accessible version (this assumes that audio materials are compatible to Braille items, which is not always the case and that the affordable materials are compliant (say, have captions).

Why Open Education Matters

Why Open Education Matters. David Blake. CC BY.

Librarians' Role

Our role is to collaborate with faculty to locate, evaluate, and curate OER resources, and resources that are already available through the TCC Library (text and multimedia) that match course objectives and provide low/no cost textbook alternatives to students. 

TCC Professional Development Day 2019

The following links are the presentation and handouts from the OER portion of the Copyright/OER breakout sessions on September 3.


The Open Education movement is built around the 5Rs of Open.

  • Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  • 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 open content 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)

Frequently Asked Questions

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