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Open Educational Resources (OER)

This guide is intended to provide SNHU faculty/staff information and support in researching open educational resources and copyright/licensing. If you have comments or suggestions for the guide, please contact Heather Blicher at h.blicher@snhu.edu.

What Is OER/Open Educational Resources?


The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation defines Open Educational Resources as "teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions."

The 5 Rs of Open


The Open Education movement is built around the 5Rs of Open. These represent the gold standard in openness:

  1. Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  2. Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in class, in study group, on a public website, in a video)
  3. Revise – the right to adapt, 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 open content to create something new (e.g. 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)