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Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning materials that range from individual lessons to textbooks to whole courses and curricula. They may include text, images, animation, audio & video or a combination.
OER materials are either in the PUBLIC DOMAIN or have copyright permissions spelled out up front that enable you to redistribute or remix that content without having to ask permission. These permissions may also include allowing you to use that content to make your own textbook or learning object.
Most of these materials are free to access and use.
Many OERs are copyrighted but have a Creative Commons license attached that enable you to distribute, reuse or modify the materials, as long as you credit the creator of the original OER. This means you can often adapt, modify or remix new materials into an OER that you adopt, and that your students can keep the text.
A growing number of universities and their faculties have developed OER courses or have made syllabi, assignments and other related materials available as OER. Please note that not every OER course is cost-free: some are designed around a specific published text or require other purchases.