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The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Ojibwe-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the National Homeland of the Red River M├ętis. More

Open Educational Resources: Introduction

What are OERs?

Open Educational Resources  (OERs) are teaching and learning resources that can be freely used, shared and adapted.

Examples include full courses, open textbooks, lesson plans, assignments, syllabi, videos, and more.

The 5 Rs

Circle with '5R' in centre, surrounded by text: "Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute, Retain" In order to be "open", a resource must meet the 5 Rs:
  • Reuse: Content can be reused without need for subscription or payment.
  • Retain: Users can keep their own copies of the content.
  • Revise: Content can be modified or adapted.
  • Remix: Content can be combined with other resources to create a new work.
  • Redistribute: Users can share copies of the content with others.

See also our Guide to Open Access.

Why OERs Matter

For Students:

  • Reduce cost of education.
  • Increase access to learning materials.
  • Learning materials are made more relevant to the local context.

For Faculty:

  • Improve student engagement
  • Save time. OERs created by others can be freely used and adapted in less time than would be required to develop these materials from scratch.
  • Allows faculty the flexibility to adapt or add to a learning resource.
  • Enhances professional reputation: other instructors in the field can reuse your course materials with appropriate credit to you.

For Institutions:

  • Improve student recruitment and retention. According to a BC study, 17% of students reported withdrawing from a course due to the cost of textbooks.
  • Enhance institutional reputation by sharing high-quality learning materials.

This guide is licensed CC BY-SA. It is inspired by work from BCcampus.