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Open Education Resources (OER): Welcome

Digital Library


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About this Guide

This guide brings together the OERs selected by UCL Institute of Education librarians which are relevant for teaching professionals, learners and researchers.

The guide is organized by learning phase. A separate tab has been included for Special Education to facilitate identifying the OER resources for this sector. 

Many OER providers listed in this guide provide access to multiple phases, i.e. they are useful for phases beyond the phase detailed, so do 'drill down' and explore what else they have on offer! To start, check out this video on how to use Open Author on OER Commons


More Copyright Information & Advice

Use our 'Copyright, including Intellectual Property Rights' LibGuide for more information about copyright and IPR. Additional information and resources are at UCL Copyright.

What are OERs? What is OA!?


Source:  Victoria Fernandez (2012)

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely available online materials that anyone can use for learning and/or teaching. Examples are courses- including MOOCs (Massive Online Open Course), lectures, teaching materials, assignments and various other resources. OERs are available in many different formats compatible with online usage most obviously text, images, audio and video.

Anyone with internet access can access and use OERs; access is not dependent on location or membership of a particular institution. OERs are particularly useful for researchers, teachers and learners. Educational institutions and providers enhance their websites by creating and maintaining access to OERs and service providers such as iTunes and SlideShare also have many OERs to offer. 

OERs use Creative Commons (CC) licenses to ensure that materials can be used in a wide variety of ways e.g. edited, remixed, enhanced and copied.

Check out this timeline for further information on the background of OER in the UK.

Open Access (OA) refers to freely available content permanently online such as scholarly articles and journals. These resources can be reused and there is some scope for alteration. OER, on the otherhand, encourages remixing and redistibution of the resource and covers a much wider range of materials.

The difference between OA and OER


Question Mark icon You can now text your enquiry to +44 (0)20 3322 1810 

You can also post your question on Library Help, the Library's online enquiry service, tweet us @IOELibrary or contact us on Instagram @ioelibrary. Please note these services operate when the Help Desk is open.

OER Development

The following list provides links to some of the most active OER developers in the UK.
Open Educational Resources Programme- HEFCE, JISC & HEA funded programmes
OTTER- The OTTER project enables access to OERs drawn from teaching materials delivered at the University of Leicester
The Open University- OER Research Hub and other projects

OER Mythbusting!

OER Mythbusting aims to bust myths about Open Educational Resources! There are two parts – a mythbusting guide and a quick introduction to OER. Both will help you find fast, simple and useful answers to myths, statements and unsupported claims about how Open Educational Resources (OER) do not work or do not suite educational systems and environments. They do.

Criticism of Open Educational Resources is diverse, motivated by varied anxieties and uncertainties, but also particular interests. Some of this criticism is justified and points to areas which need further work on the part of the OER community, or refer to specific OER projects. Visit OER Mythbusting to find out more.