What does it mean by the term “Open” in the context of OERs?


The term “Open” in OER describes any copyrightable work that is licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in any of the “5R” activities:

  1. Retain
    the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)

  2. Reuse
    the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)

  3. Revise
    the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)

  4. Remix
    the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)

  5. Redistribute
    the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

Note that the term OER is not traditionally applied to openly licensed software, which is described by other terms like “open source.”

Open, OER, retain, reuse, revise, remix, redistribute

Wiley, D. (CC-BY) Defining the “Open” in Open Content and Open Educational Resources. Retrieved from http://www.opencontent.org/definition/