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About Open Educational Resources (OER)
Open Education Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium 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 (e.g., Creative Commons license).

Types of OER include
  • full courses and syllabi
  • textbooks
  • streaming videos
  • tests and assignments
  • software and games

Open licenses allow for the OER content to be used in the following ways (known as the "5 Rs"):
  • Retain: the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  • Reuse: use the content in a variety of ways (in a class, on a website, etc.)
  • Revise: the right to adapt, adjust, modify or alter the content
  • Remix: the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (in a mashup, for example)
  • Redistribute: the right to share copies of the original, revised, or remixed content

For more, watch this video from The Council of Chief State School Officers
Finding Open Educational Resources
Recommended sites for discovering free, online course materials:

  OASIS Search: OER search tool developed at SUNY Geneseo; will simultaneously search open content from 80 different sources and contains more than 330,000 records.

 Open Textbook Library: A collection of more than 600 complete, open textbooks. All textbooks have been reviewed by faculty, and are either in use at multiple higher education institutions, or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization.

OpenStax: Nonprofit educational initiative based at Rice University. OpenStax textbooks are included in Open Textbook Library, but this site provides additional free resources for verified instructors, such as PowerPoint slides and solutions to end-of-chapter problems.  

 OER Commons: Access to textbooks, syllabi, lesson plans, assessments, lecture notes, and much more. 

Google Advanced Search: Find images, videos or text that you have permission to use by selecting the "usage rights" filter on the Advanced Search screen. 
Using OER
Understanding Licensing
The Creative Commons license is the most commonly used license for OER. Creative Commons licenses grant specific permission for the work to be retained, reused, revised, remixed, and redistributed. 

Look for the Creative Commons license to understand how an Open Educational Resource may be used. Some helpful resources for decoding Creative Commons Licenses:

Evaluating OER
There are many rubrics for evaluating Open Educational Resources:
DRM-Free Resources at The Sage Libraries
In addition to Open Educational Resources, faculty are encouraged to incoporate (Digital Rights Management)  DRM-free e-resources owned by the Sage Libraries into their courses.

Please note: Sage faculty and students have free, unlimited, simultaneous access to our collection of DRM-free resources, making them ideal for use as course materials at no additional cost to students. However, these resources are protected under copyright, and NOT considered OER.

Below is a selection of DRM-free resources available through the Sage Colleges Libraries:

Sage Research Methods Videos - Contains more than 125 hours of video, including tutorials, case study videos, expert interviews, and more--covering the entire research methods and statistics curriculum.  

Credo Reference - An online reference library containing dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauri, books of quotations and atlases. Credo Reference also offers a range of subject-specific reference books.

Credo Info Literacy Videos - A collection of brief animated tutorials on information literacy subjects ranging from the research process, to using and citing sources. Accessible through the Sage Libraries Moodle Page - log onto Moodle 

Human Anatomy Atlas 2020 - *Upgraded to 2020 version* This interactive 3D visualization and learning tool allows users to explore 4,000+ medically accurate anatomical structures, including all major organs and systems of the male and female body.    

Nexis Uni Features more than 15, 000 news, business and legal sources, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1790

Lib Central E-Book Collection - to search for DRM-free e-book titles, select "Unlimited Print, Copy & Download" under Advanced Search:



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