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Open Educational Resources (OER): Introduction to OER

Guide to identifying open textbooks and open educational resources. Information about UWM's Open Textbook initiative.

What is a Creative Commons license?

Creative Commons licenses provide a standardized way for authors and creators to grant the public permission to share and use their creative works. Creative Commons licenses mix and match the following elements:

attribution symbol Attribution (BY)
Give credit to the original author
share alike symbol Share Alike (SA)
Distribute derivative works under the same license
non-commercial symbol Non-Commercial (NC)
Only use the work for noncommercial purposes
no derivatives symbol No Derivatives (ND)
Only use verbatim copies of the work
CC BY license CC BY ND license
CC BY SA license CC BY NC SA license
CC BY NC license CC BY NC ND license

What is OER?

According to UNESCO, "Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaptation, and distribution." OER include curriculum maps, course materials, textbooks, streaming videos, multimedia applications, podcasts, and any other materials that have been designed for use in teaching and learning.

The Creative Commons has gathered a number of definitions of OER from different organizations.

What can I do with OER?

When and author or creator amends their Copyright with a Creative Commons license, they are giving you permission to reuse their work in the following ways: 

The 5 Rs are Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute

This material is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at: Defining the "Open" in Open Content and Open Educational Resources.

Research Help

Profile Photo
Kristin Woodward
She/Her/Hers
Contact:
P.O. Box 604,
Milwaukee WI 53201-0604
414-251-5103

Getting help with OER and Canvas

The UWM Libraries and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning work in partnership to support Open Educational Resource discovery and adoption in courses. Please contact Kristin Woodward if you would like more information:

open-textbook@uwm.edu

Guide Reuse and Attribution