Open Educational Resources


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Should I take this mini-course?

The intended audience of this course is anyone who instructs others - no matter the learning environment or subject area.

Beyond that, you will need to understand a little bit about open educational resources to determine if this mini-course is right for you.

Open educational resources (OER) are "teaching, learning 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." [1]

OER may be useful for your teaching practice if:

  • You are concerned about the cost of instructional materials - the cost to your students, the cost to yourself, or the cost to your school.
  • You feel the current instructional materials available to you may be outdated, biased, or incomplete.

What will I learn from this mini-course?

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Define open educational resources (OER)
  • Define Creative Commons and explain its relevance to OER
  • Locate and evaluate OER
  • Adapt an OER to meet your needs

What do I need to know before taking this course?

You likely already have the knowledge necessary for this course! The prerequisites are:

  • Familiarity with using web page search tools (ex. using the search tool on
  • Familiarity with the English language (in written form)
  • Familiarity with one's discipline (to help you evaluate whether an OER meets your needs)
  • Ability to reflect on your instructional needs (to help you adapt an OER)

Also, please be aware that this course is entirely self-driven - there is no instructor present. If you do not feel comfortable with self-directed learning, this mini-course may not be appropriate for your needs.

What will I do in this course?

This mini-course spans three different units. The units are meant to be completed sequentially, as each unit builds on the previous unit.

The learning activities in this mini-course include:

  • reading course materials
  • watching educational video (or reading captions / transcript)
  • checking your understanding by taking brief quizzes (optional)
  • reflecting on your instructional needs
  • reflecting on how to apply what you learn in your teaching practice

Technological requirements

  • You should have access to a computer (the platform we are using for this mini-course is not mobile-friendly).
  • You should have reliable broadband Internet access.

What do the icons in this course mean?

LJH Home Icon.png The house icon indicates that the unit or lesson objectives are below.

LJH Book Icon.png The book icon indicates that the text below is informational. It doesn't require action other than reading.

LJH Activity Icon.png The notepad and pencil icon indicates that there is an activity for you to complete.

LJH RArrow Icon.png The orange right arrow icon indicates that there are links to the next lesson or unit below.

Example When you see a box with a thin grey outline, it indicates that the box contains an example.

LJH Warning Icon.png The warning icon is only found in unit 2, lesson 1 - to indicate potential pitfalls to be aware of.

(See source [2] below for information on where you can download the icons.)

LJH RArrow Icon.png Ready to begin? Start here!

References & Resources

[1] William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. (2017). Open Educational Resources. Retrieved from

[2] All icons are from the Human o2 icon set by Oliver Scholtz (and others). Used with permission.


Ccbyncsa-88x31.png This mini-course was created by Laura Harris. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.