Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or re-purposing by others. Open Educational Resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. Users of Open Educational Resources have free (no-cost) access to the materials and free (no-cost) permission to engage in the “4R” activities when using them, including:

  1. Revise: adapt and improve the Open Educational Resource so it better meets your needs

  2. Reuse: use the original or your new version of the Open Educational Resource in a wide range of contexts

  3. Remix: combine or “mashup” the Open Educational Resource with other OER to produce new materials

  4. Redistribute: make copies and share the original Open Educational Resource or your new version with others

Open Educational Resources have been available online for the more than a decade. In recent years, several foundations have made significant financial investments to produce new high-quality Open Educational Resources that can be used in both formal and informal learning environments.  Likewise, the Obama administration has won congressional approval to spend up to $2 billion over the next four years to produce and continuously improve a new set of Open Educational Resources that can be used entirely free of charge by students seeking cutting edge higher education and job training opportunities. All of these publicly funded educational resources will be openly licensed and free to the public that paid for it. The first $500 million of these federal funds has already been awarded.


To learn more about Open Educational Resources, visit:

What are OER?