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The idea of open educational resources (OER) has numerous working definitions. The term was firstly coined at UNESCO’s 2002 Forum on Open Courseware and designates “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. Open licensing is built within the existing framework of intellectual property rights as defined by relevant international conventions and respects the authorship of the work [1].

Often cited is the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation term which defines OER as:

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 [2].

OER has brought a soft mild revolution in the modes of teaching and learning at school, colleges and universities. From textbooks to complete degree programs, OER has introduced free learning with licensed content that helps out students to have high-quality learning resources. Regardless of the financial background, OER is a learning tool for all without any charges and that inculcates equality.

How to use OER?

 1-Nature of the resource

The right spot to commence is at the OER Strategy Document, a complete document that spots the progress of a global OER strategy. This document aids in thinking about the measure that is taken to create or adopt OER. Openly licensed learning contents are feasible to seek. The faculty of different colleges and universities post their lectures and slides on the portal. This helps students to discover material well before enrolling to institute and to get better prepared before arriving the classrooms.

2-Source of the resource

While some of the definitions need a clear resource to be produced with an explicit educational goal in mind, others expand this to include any resource which may potentially be used for learning. Students may find the subjects and courses details available on different OER website, which help to locate their desired discipline. A list of subjects, courses, multimedia, books and artwork are given on the websites of OER. Students can easily develop their account on the website and have access to the world of free learning material [3].

3-Level of openness

Most websites require that a resource is placed in the public domain or under a fully open license. Others need only that free use to be granted for educational purposes, possibly excluding commercial uses. On such websites, it is mandatory to get access to any educational institute.


  1. Chiu, Mei-Hung (2016-06-10). Science Education Research and Practice in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities. Springer. ISBN9789811008474.
  2. Open Educational Resources. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Retrieved 27 March 2013.