What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials made available for free use and often with permission to modify and re-distribute. According to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, OER are defined as “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 and 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”.

Benefits of OER

Open Educational Resources provide a low-cost and flexible alternative to publisher textbooks for use in online and face-to-face classrooms. They allow instructors to (legally) pick from a wide collection of readily-available learning resources on the web and customize their teaching to their students’ needs while significantly reducing students’ schooling costs. It is estimated that 7 out of 10 students skip buying textbooks because of their high costs.



Materials are normally shared as Open Educational Resources under a Creative Commons license. The Creative Commons licenses make it easy to share and use OER by clearly specifying the requirements for attribution, reuse and modification. Learn more about Creative Commons.

OER — A Complete Guide

The Complete Guide to OER Materials by Campus Technology.

Myths about OER

Enforce your understanding of OER with a comprehensive list of misconceptions about OER provided by SPARC Open.

Explore OER

Please visit our Find OER page for an extensive list of OER collections. Also, visit Healey Library website for academic journals and books related to Open Educational Resources.

Contribute OER

Have something to share? Get in touch with someone from our team at open@umb.edu. We will help you identify a platform and guide you in the process.

More Resources

Creative Commons and Education: Visit the Creative Commons page on Education to learn more about Creative Commons licensing and find Open Educational Resources.

OER and Accessibility

OER materials are no different with regard to considerations for inclusiveness and accessibility for all learners. Accessibility Toolkit 2nd Edition is an Open Educational Resource made available by BC Campus with detailed guidance on creating accessible content.