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University of Southern MaineLibraries

Open Educational Resources

This guide is designed to assist faculty in the exploration, identification, evaluation, selection, and adoption of Open Educational Resources.

Use Open Educational Resources

What can I do with an OER?

Note on licenses

How you can use an Open Educational Resource (OER) depends on what legal restrictions have been removed. These restrictions are removed by whoever holds the property rights to the resource via a license.

There are many different licenses that can be used to do this, including the “University of Maine System Broad Application Copyleft License,” but the most popular are the Creative Commons Licenses. The Creative Commons Licenses describe a set of six licenses that can be used globally to mange the lifting of copyright restrictions.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons provides six different internationally compatible licenses:

  • BY (Open for any purpose so long as attribution is given)
  • BY-SA (Attribution requirement and any resultant works must be licensed in the same way)
  • BY-ND (Attribution requirement and no modifications/adaptions allowed)
  • BY-NC (Attribution requirement and no commercial usage)
  • BY-NC-SA (Attribution requirement and no commercial usage and any resultant works must be licensed in the same way)
  • BY-NC-ND (Attribution requirement and no commercial usage and no modifications/appropriations allowed)

Questions about licenses can be directed to the OER Group or see our Guide.

OERs in the Classroom

Given OERs encompass a broad range of materials, they can be employed in the classroom in a variety of ways, for example:

  • Adoption of an open textbook.
  • Modification of an existing syllabus or lesson plan.
  • Assign an open-sourced assignment.
  • Use of open source software.
  • Curation of an open digital course-pack.

If you wish to embrace an open approach on a more robust scale, consider developing open materials with learners. This approach is a main feature of open pedagogy. See this video for an example in brief from Robin DeRosa

Questions about OER use can be directed to the OER Group.