Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

This guide provides information to help support you learn about OER, find and evaluate existing OER, create new OER projects, and resources that will assist you in your journey with OER.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are:

Learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others (UNESCO, 2021).

OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge (Hewlett Foundation, 2017).


  • Permissions around use and repurposing are granted by use of an open license (for example, Creative Commons licenses) which allows anyone to freely use, adapt and share the resource—anytime, anywhere.

  • “Open” permissions are defined in terms of the “5R’s”: users are free to Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute these educational materials.

5 R's of Open: Free and able to retain, the right to make, own, and control copies of the content; reuse, the right to use the content in a wide range of ways; revise, the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself; remix, the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new; and redistribute, the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others.

Why Use OER?

When faculty use OER, we aren't just saving students money on textbooks: we are directly impacting that students' ability to enroll in, persist through, and successfully complete a course.

Jhangiani & DeRosa, 2017


UCalgary's Students' Union are advocates of the use open educational resources in undergraduate courses. Read about their ongoing initiatives on campus in the article linked below.

Watch the video below to learn more about OER and how OER can benefit the UCalgary community, including students, faculty, and instructors.

Introduction to OER: Resources for Learning about OER

This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) unless otherwise noted. Content adapted from work done by BC Campus, Simon Fraser University, University of British ColumbiaGeorge Washington University and more.