Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may use and re-use for free! These resources are created by individuals or organizations who choose to retain few or no ownership rights so that you can download or share resources with others.  Some OERs can also be edited or re-mixed, depending on the Creative Commons or GNU license.

So why would you use them? Because they provide greater access to educational materials for a wider range of learners, improve student performance or satisfaction, help students or institutions save money, appeal to informal learners and serve as a gateway from informal learning to formal educational programs.

OER Databases

OASIS Search Tool

To  begin exploring OERs, let’s take a look at the OASIS OER search tool: This tool has won the 2019 OER Curation Award at the Open Education Consortium. Try looking up your favourite subjects or themes!


Our students have also been using a tool called Symbaloo. This dashboard tool allows teachers to curate numerous resources into one space, and organize these resources as customized tiles. Click on the tile icons in our BOLT 676 Symbaloo below to access some of our favourite OER and useful teacher resources on integrating OER in practice:

For example, you can access a searchable database of over 12 million historic copyright-free images by visiting the Historic Books – Image Database tile in the Symbaloo dashboard above (middle-right section).

Want to learn more about open education? Take our online course MDDE 622: Openness in Distance Education (Athabasca University).

MDDE 622: Openness in Distance Education

Youngson. "Collaboration."
Youngson. “Collaboration.”

Openness in content, data, government, and access is influencing organizations of all types. Education is heavily influenced: open educational resources and open teaching hold potential to disrupt the full spectrum of education: policy, learning development, delivery, and accreditation.

The Openness in Education course is a credited course, calendar listed in the MDDE 6XX series of special interest seminar based courses. The course can be used as an optional course in the Masters and in the graduate certificate and graduate diploma programs.

The course will be offered in a paced 12 week format, using a combination of synchronous (Elluminate or Adobe Connect) and asynchronous tools (blogs, wikis, and groups in the Landing).

The course will be designed in HTML5 and will require learners to use compatible browsers – Google Chrome, a free download, is recommended. For learners accessing course material with iOS devices, Safari is the recommended browser.

The course will be offered openly and online. Learner privacy and comfort in participating in an open online course will be addressed to ensure concerns and needs of CDE and for-credit learners are addressed. Register now.

Why do we need Open Licensing for K-12 Pedagogy?

In this interview Kevin Corcoran, the Executive Director of Digital Learning at Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Systems (CSCU), talks about the importance of CC Certificates and Open Licensing expertise for K-12 Education:

CC Certificate Graduate on the Ripple Effect of Open Licensing Expertise for K12 Pedagogy