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OER: Open Educational Resources

Designed for educators at the University of Missouri, this guide covers ways to find and create Open Educational Resources

What are OER?

Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that provide users with
(1) free and unfettered access and
(2) 5R legal permissions to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute them.

The Hewlett Foundation provides the following definition:
OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.


Does OER improve student learning?

Yes! Over 13 nation, peer-reviewed studies have been conducted on OER use in higher education over the past five years. None of these studies showed results in which students who utilized OER performed worse than their peers who used traditional textbooks or course materials. In fact, all studies showed that students who had unlimited access to their course materials and were engaged in open pedagogy assignments performed better or the same as their peers with traditional course materials and more limited access. 

For a complete list on every major study conducted on OER efficacy and/or teacher/student perceptions of such resources in actual practice, please see the Open Educational Group's list of reviewed studies:

Introduction to OER Infographic