Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 9 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Open educational resources

Open educational resources are educational resources that are freely available, usually via the web. But how truly open are they?
OER mind map
© Except for third party materials and where otherwise indicated, the copyright in the content provided on this page is owned by The University of Nottingham and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike UK 2.0 Licence

Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials that are freely available, usually via the web, for use and for modification.

They are often made available through Creative Commons licences – these are standardised licences that provide clear and easy information about copyright freedoms and restrictions. OERs provide a way of sharing knowledge and expertise by making aspects of an institution’s approach to teaching available to other academics and making the content of that teaching available to anyone with an interest in learning.

The OER movement is not without its controversies. Its supporters see OERs as a positive reaction against the commodification of knowledge and learning. OERs are also seen as a means of supporting the repurposing of knowledge and the reshaping of information for different users with different needs. More critical views focus upon the western and developed world perspective of the majority of OERs and the narrow demographic using them. A further critique is often made of the extent of the ‘openness’ in OERs – if OERs require computers , energy and the internet, are they truly open?

Think about: Can you share an example of an internet resource, open or not, that has helped you increase your sustainability?

© Except for third party materials and where otherwise indicated, the copyright in the content provided on this page is owned by The University of Nottingham and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike UK 2.0 Licence
This article is from the free online

Sustainability, Society and You

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now