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Open Education Resources: OER

Information about the Open Education Curriculum Development Grant

Evaluate OER Materials

To be considered OER, materials must allow legal permission for users to engage in the 5 R's:

  1. Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  2. 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)
  3. Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. 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)
  5. 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)


adapted from


Helpful tips from the University of Southern California's Libguide on OER:

For Open Educational Resources (OER), use a similar evaluation process as you would when assessing a new textbook or other course materials you are interested in adding to your class. Here are some suggested steps and questions to ask:

  • Does this OER cover the content you'd like your students to learn in this course or module?

  • How accessible is this content? Will it be accessible for your students or is it too technical? Or, vice versa, is it robust and challenging enough for your students?

  • How can you use the content? Verify the resource is under an open license. Can you remix or revise the OER as long as it is not for commercial purposes? Who do you have to recognize if you use it? Will you be able to do so? 

  • Once you determine how you can use the OER, what would you like to do with it? Does only a portion of it apply to your class? Would you possibly want to combine this OER with another OER or resource? Does the library have access to articles that could act as supplemental readings?

  • As you collect more OER and other resources, save them in a central location. Take note of how you envision using them. Align these resources with the learning objectives and weekly lessons on your syllabus in order to identify gaps.