About Open Education

Open Education & OER: The Basics

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Open educational resources (OER) are educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone and available under a license that allows users to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute.

What are some examples of OER?

Learning Content: full courses, textbooks, course materials, modules, syllabi, activities, journals, etc.

Tools: Software to support the creation, delivery, use and improvement of open learning content including searching and organization of content, content and learning management systems, content development tools, online learning communities.

What are the benefits of creating and using OER?
  • improving student performance and satisfaction
  • increasing access to educational materials for a wider range of learners, predominantly those underserved by traditional educational opportunities
  • professional development through engaging in critical reflection of educational resources
  • helping students, districts, and educational institutions save money 
  • wider visibility for pedagogical work
  • including more diverse perspectives and representation in educational materials 
  • attracting informal learners and serving as a gateway from informal learning to formal educational programs
What are Open Licenses and why are they important for OER?

In order to facilitate robust and engaging learning experiences, educators and students rely upon the ability to freely exchange ideas and educational content. But that’s not always easy to do because most publishers and authors of educational materials explicitly restrict your ability to copy, share, and modify these resources. Open Educational Resources, on the other hand, clearly state how the author wants you to use them and gives you the right to freely copy, modify, adapt, and build upon them for your desired use.

Learn more about Open Licenses at https://www.creativecommons.org

Open Education at UT Austin

The University of Texas Libraries provides information and resources for UT faculty and instructors interested in creating or adopting OER. Learn more by visiting the OER LibGuide.