Open Educational Resources (OER)

Provide free access to open educational resources with high quality published by Fulbright University, collected by the Library from other open sources!

“FSPPM (formely FETP) is the first school joining MIT in sharing their curriculum openly, the school pioneered in the OpenCourseWare movement that has been widely spread all around the globe. Through publicizing the open educational resources, MIT and FSPPM aim to provide resources that can be used for facilitating academic and research at universities and for fostering self-learning and self-development...”

- Steve Carso, Senior Strategist, MIT OpenCourseWare

  • Fulbright OER

    Fulbright OER (or Fulbright OCW) inspired by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Open- CourseWare Initiative (OCW), the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) has begun to publish its teaching and research materials online. FSPPM OpenCourseWare is not a long-distance learning project. Rather, it is a resource for people working or studying in policy-related fields to increase their knowledge and explore new approaches to learning and curriculum development.

    Instructors are encouraged to adopt FSPPM’s curricular materials for use in their own courses. Students may use FSPPM’s materials to guide independent study. Course syllabi, lecture notes, reading lists and problem sets used in many one-year mid-career program and executive education courses are already available online and over time FSPPM OpenCourseWare will include all FSPPM materials (subject to copyright law). FSPPM participates with other academic institutions in Vietnam to promote the use of innovative long-distance learning activities.

    Legal Notices: Course materials are made freely available under the terms defined by FSPPM OCW.

  • What are Open Educational Resources?

    What is meant by open educational resources?

    Open Educational Resources (OER) are 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. (

    What is the role of open educational resources?

    OER can be used to increase access to learning for those living in unfavourable circumstances, and can also be used to address issues of cost, quality, and equity. (Dr. Rory McGreal, UNESCO/COL/ICDE, Chair in OER Athabasca University)

    Why Open Education?

    Ensuring equality and availability of education is a foundational value of the open education movement, and as we move into the future, addressing those issues becomes ever more crucial. Open education takes aim at many issues that complicate education.

    • Outdated Teaching Materials

    Traditional educational materials, like textbooks, can only be as current as their publication date. Unfortunately, the latest knowledge—especially in scientific and technical fields—rapidly becomes outdated and obsolete. Students and teachers working with outdated material are at a great disadvantage in the modern world. Open Educational Resources, on the other hand, can be updated, adapted, and improved continually, so they are never out of date.

    • Cost

    Teaching and learning materials often carry a high price tag, which poses a painful question to many students: go without the materials, or go into substantial debt to get them. From social media movements like #textbookbroke to the crisis of student loan debt, the cost of education is a major social issue. Open education's goal of making high-quality, freely available online materials is a direct answer to the problem of costs.

    • Access and Equality

    Cost, geography, and structural inequalities in society often combine to lead toward problems of access and equity in education. With open education, the high-quality materials are available at minimal (or no) cost, and with minimal barriers to access, leveling the playing field for students as they prepare for their lives ahead.

  • Examples of OER

    Fulbright University Vietnam OER (Fulbright OER)

    • Inspired by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Open- CourseWare Initiative (OCW), the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) has begun to publish its teaching and research materials online. FSPPM OpenCourseWare is not a long-distance learning project. Rather, it is a resource for people working or studying in policy-related fields to increase their knowledge and explore new approaches to learning and curriculum development.
    • Instructors are encouraged to adopt FSPPM's curricular materials for use in their own courses. Students may use FSPPM's materials to guide independent study. Course syllabi, lecture notes, reading lists and problem sets used in many one-year mid-career program and executive education courses are already available online and over time FSPPM OpenCourseWare will include all FSPPM materials (subject to copyright law). FSPPM participates with other academic institutions in Vietnam to promote the use of innovative long-distance learning activities.

    Legal Notices: Course materials are made freely available under the terms defined by FSPPM OCW.


    • “OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a free and open digital publication of high quality college and university‐level educational materials. These materials are organized as courses, and often include course planning materials and evaluation tools as well as thematic content” (Open Education Consortium, 2017, para. 1).


    Learning Modules

    • A learning module is "a tool that provides course materials in a logical, sequential, order, guiding students through the content and assessments in the order specified by the instructor. Instructors can insert formatted text, files, web links, discussion topics, assignments, tests and quizzes, and soon, assessments. Content can be structured in such a way as to require students to complete content before they are allowed to proceed to the next content. It is also possible for instructors to set up a place for students to add content to the learning module" (University of Florida e-Learning, 2013, para. 1).

    Open Textbooks

    • “Open textbooks are typically authored by faculty and published on the web with the support of universities or new commercial companies. This new business model enables free online access to textbooks” (California State University, 2012, para. 1).

    Streaming Videos

    • “Streaming video is content sent in compressed form over the Internet and displayed by the viewer in real time. With streaming video or streaming media, a Web user does not have to wait to download a file to play it. Instead, the media is sent in a continuous stream of data and is played as it arrives. The user needs a player, which is a special program that uncompresses and sends video data to the display and audio data to speakers. A player can be either an integral part of a browser or downloaded from the software maker's Web site” (TechTarget, 2017, para. 1). 

    Open Access Journals

    • Open access journals provide “free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open access is the needed modern update for the communication of research that fully utilizes the Internet for what it was originally built to do—accelerate research” (SPARC, 2017, para. 5).

    Online Tutorials

    An online tutorial is a self study activity designed to teach a specific learning outcome. They are usually delivered via a course management system but can also be made available via the Internet or on a DVD. There are two main types of online tutorials:

    • Recorded tutorials are video or screencast recordings, typically of a subject expert presenting information and ideas or giving a demonstration.
    • Interactive tutorials are a structured collection of navigable web pages. Individual pages can contain any combination of text, images, audio, video, self test questions and other interactive activities. Interactive tutorials can also contain screencasts.

    Both types of online tutorials can be provided as supplementary learning materials or as an integral part of a core activity. Because of the benefits they offer, online tutorials are becoming commonplace within both programs of learning and on a number of support service web sites (University of Bristol Educational Support Unit, 2017, para. 1-4).

    Digital Learning Objects

    • “Digital learning objects are small, modular, discrete units of learning designed for electronic delivery and use. To facilitate reuse with a minimum of effort, a learning object is ‘packaged’ to include a lesson, an activity, and an assessment. The most reusable learning objects will have a learning outcome that is concrete and fundamental to a broad range of courses” (CSU Northridge Oviatt Library, 2017, p. 1) .


  • Where can I find OER?

    Links to Open Educational Resources

    OER Repositories & Providers

    The world of open education is growing rapidly, and open educational resources are available from numerous providers, including many of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world.

    Digital repositories hosted by consortia, alliances, and institutional initiatives, dedicated to sharing and advocating for the use of OER, are excellent places to start your search. There are dozens of repositories out there, so we've provided some recommended starting points below.

    American Institute of Mathematics

    CK-12 Teacher and Student Resources
    Creative Commons


    FlatWorld Knowledge

    Khan Academy

    MIT OpenCourseWare


    Open Michigan

    Open Washington

    Directory of Open Access Repositories

    Open Education Consortium

    OER Africa

    OER Commons

    CMU Open Learning Initiative


    Open SUNY Textbooks

    UMN Open Textbook Library

    The Open University

    Open Yale Courses

    Open Oregon State

    Project Gutenberg

    Open Courseware Data Search

    World Digital Library

  • How do I make OER?

    Creating OERs

    Create, Adapt, Revise, Remix

    The hallmark of an open education resource is the freedom you have to create, remix, and adapt it to your needs. Creating an OER does not necessarily require you to write an entire textbook or develop a complete learning object from start to finish - although you can certainly do that! - rather, the open education community is based not only on creation, but adaptation and improvement on what's already out there.

    In fact, the various open licenses in use expressly encourage instructors to modify open educational resources to tailor them to their classes, students, and specific pedagogical needs.


    Pressbooks is simple book production software. It allows you to write a book using the sofware or import a manuscript, choose a book design theme, and export into all the file formats you need to publish your book:

    • MOBI format (for Kindle ebooks)
    • EPUB format (for all other ebookstores)
    • designed PDF (for print-on-demand)
    • more exotic XML formats

    Pressbooks is used by authors and publishers around the world (Pressbooks, 2017, para. 1).

    For online tutorials that teach you how to use Pressbooks, visit the following YouTube channel:

  • How do I make my OER available to others?

    Digital Repositories

    "Digital Repositories offer a convenient infrastructure through which to store, manage, re-use and curate digital materials. They are used by a variety of communities, may carry out many different functions, and can take many forms. Digital repositories are also commonly referred to as institutional repositories or digital archives" (Semple, 2006, para. 1).

    The most common location for any OER to be found is in a digital repository hosted by an institution (such as a consortium or a university). Repository systems are designed with open access in mind, and you can deposit your OER in them with the expectation that they'll be findable and accessible to everyone. Many of the places you can find OER are the same places you can share yours.

    IUP's new digital repository, Harbor, is part of a Keystone Library Network initiative, and runs on the Islandora platform. Harbor is currently under construction, but will be live soon.

  • What are Creative Commons (CC) licenses?


    Creative Commons is an organization that helps you legally share your knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world. Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to make a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work_on conditions of your choice. (Creative Commons, 2017)

    Creative Commons is an organization that developed a set of copyright licenses for creators to apply to their works, helping authors, artists, and other creators establish the boundaries of permissible use they want to place on their works.

    Creative Commons licenses are based on existing copyright law, and are simple to understand. Visit our Copyright Information guide for more details!

    Creative Commons licenses

    Open Educational Resources are subject to Creative Commons Licensing. These licenses are as follows:

    Attribution (BY): Allow to copy, adapt, modify, share the work as long as the original creators are credited for any  purposes. 

    Attribution (BY) - Share Alike (SA): All rights as Attribution (BY) license and new creations have to be licensed under same terms as the original work. 

    Attribution (BY) - No Derives (ND): Allow to copy, share but keep the work unchanged and in whole for any purposes.​

    Attribution (BY) - Non-commercial (NC): Allow  to copy, adapt, modify, share the work for non-commercial purposes only.

    Attribution (BY) - Non-commercial (NC) - Share Alike (SA): All rights as Attribution (BY)-Share Alike (SA) license but for non-commercial purposes only.

    Attribution (BY) - Non-commercial (NC) - No Derives (ND): All rights as Attribution (BY) - No Derives (ND) license but for non-commercial purposes only.

    You can find more information about licenses from the Creative Commons website.

    Note: Not all OERs use the same licensing restriction. It is important to check the permissions of the OER before using them to ensure compliance with the terms. 

    How to label third party content in Creative Commons licensed material Creative Commons licenses are designed to let others know how they may use work without infringing on copyrights.  Therefore, if you are distributing information under a Creative Commons Licence, and it includes content that isn’t covered by the Creative Commons Licence, this material needs to be clearly identified.

  • References

    Works Cited

    • California State University. (2012). What are open textbooks? Retrieved from
    • CSU Northridge Oviatt Library. (2017). What are digital learning objects? Retrieved from
    • Creative Commons. (2017). What we do: What is Creative Commons? Retrieved from
    • Forward, M. L. (2017). We are not alone: Situating OER in global higher ed. [PowerPoint slides]. Opening up education: Textbooks, resources, courseware and more. Retrieved from
    • Open Education Consortium. (2017). What is open courseware? Retrieved from
    • Pressbooks. (2017). About. Retrieved from
    • Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. (2017). Open access. Retrieved from
    • Semple, N. (2006). Digital repositories. Digital Curation Centre. Retrieved from
    • TechTarget. (2017). Streaming video. Retrieved from
    • University of Bristol Educational Support Unit. (2017). What is an online tutorial? University of Bristol. Retrieved from
    • University of Florida e-Learning. (2013). Learning modules overview. Retrieved from
  • Evaluating Open Educational Resources

    Evaluating Open Educational Resources

    With so many freely available resources online, choosing an OER can be overwhelming. This checklist contains some suggestions for staff when choosing resources.

    BCOER Rubric

    • Accuracy

     ​Is the information accurate?  Are there major content errors or omissions?

    Are there spelling errors to typos?

    • Relevance

    Does the information directly address one or more of the class objectives?

    • Production Quality

    Is the information clear and understandable?

    Is the layout and interface easy to navigate?

    Do the design features enhance learning?

    For audio or video resources, is the sound quality high?

    • Accessibility

    Is the resource available in alternative formats (e.g. docx)?

    For audio or video resources, is there a transcript or subtitles?

    • Interactivity

    Does the resource encourage active learning and class participation?

    Are there opportunities of students to test their understanding of the material (e.g. a video with embedded questions?)

    • Licensing

    Does the license allow for educational reuse of the materials?

    Does the license allow modifications or adoptions of the materials? (BCOER Librarians.(2020). Faculty Guide for Evaluating Open Education Resources)

    Other Evaluation Guidelines & Tools

    Achieve, which is a non-profit educational organization, has developed eight rubrics for evaluating OER. A rating scheme is recommended for assessing the material under each rubric.

    A set of materials developed to help educators use and learn more about the Achieve Open Educational Resource (OER) Rubrics and OER Evaluation Tool.

    Questions to ask about the OER you are thinking of using. This rubric is developed by Sarah Morehouse with help from Mark McBride, Kathleen Stone, and Beth Burns is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

  • Open Textbook Initiatives

    Open Textbook Initiative

    The Open Textbook Initiative aims to increase student satisfaction by easing the financial burden of textbook costs and increasing student engagement with the curriculum, and to provide access to engaging and up-to-date global open learning resources, in support of new evolving learning experiences and futures.

    View the OER resources currently being adopted through the Open Textbook Initiative and read more about RMIT's textbook heroes.