4. Open Educational Resources (OER)

4.1. Principles of OER

David Wiley is one of the pioneers of OER. He and colleagues have suggested (Hilton et al., 2010) that there are five core principles (the 5Rs) of open publishing:

  • Re-use: The most basic level of openness. People are allowed to use all or part of the work for their own purposes (For example, download an educational video to watch at a later time).
  • Re-distribute: People can share the work with others (For example, send a digital article by-email to a colleague).
  • Revise: People can adapt, modify, translate, or change the work (For example, take a book written in English and turn it into a Spanish audio book).
  • Re-mix: People can take two or more existing resources and combine them to create a new resource (For example, take audio lectures from one course and combine them with slides from another course to create a new derivative work).
  • Retain: No digital rights management restrictions (DRM); the content is yours to keep, whether you’re the author, an instructor using the material, or a student.

Users of OER though need to check with the actual license for re-use, because sometimes there are limitations, as with this book, which cannot be reproduced for commercial purposes without permission. For example, the origin of the work must be accurately attributed to the original author (BY), and it cannot be converted by a commercial publisher into a printed book to be sold at a profit (NC), at least without written permission from the author. To protect your rights as an author of OER usually means publishing under a Creative Commons or other open licenses.