Can OER be used for Distance Learning (DL)?


In short, yes. OER are educational resources (including curriculum maps, course materials, textbooks, streaming videos, multimedia applications, podcasts, and any other materials that have been designed for use in teaching and learning) that are openly available for use by educators and students, without an accompanying need to pay royalties or licence fees.

Many educational institutions create, adapt, and adopt OER as part of entire courses, for example, video recordings of lectures, accompanying lecture notes and readings, and quizzes to test subject understanding. This is also true for open universities and distance teaching universities, which may incorporate existing OER or even publish OER material based on their distance learning courses. In the latter case, potential students have the opportunity to learn about the field of study as well as experience the mode of delivery. Such OER initiatives are usually based on a “free content; fee-based teaching and tutoring” model that restrict contact with faculty and the awarding of an actual degree or certificate to fee-paying students (see, for example, OpenLearn from the Open University).

A notable recent development in this area is the formation of the OER universitas (OERu), an international consortium of post-secondary institutions working to provide affordable and flexible access to tertiary education, with courses that are entirely based on OER.

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Vioreanu, D (2016, 15 January) Benefits of OER and Open Courses. Retrieved from