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The University of Bolton Library

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for anyone to use. OERs can take many forms - they may be textbooks, images, videos, tutorials, presentations - even entire lesson plans and curriculums.

“OER is also a process of engaging with the materials. This process involves sharing materials that you have created, either individually or in groups with other teachers and/or learners; using and adapting others’ materials for your own use; and sharing back modifications to or comments about others’ materials so that future users can benefit.” 

Source: OER Commons

This guide will help you find research and networks relating to open education, as well as sources of OERs to use and adapt yourself. 

In addition to the open resources found on this guide, the Library of course subscribes to a wide range of high quality, scholarly resources - you will find those on our Databases A-Z and highlighted on our Subject Guides

Getting started with OER

OER Commons is one of the main hubs of open education resources. 

Here are some other sources of information about OER to help develop and maintain your current awareness. 

You can also explore the other pages of this guide to find sources of OERS such as open textbooks, or more subject specific resources.

Are MOOCs "open"?

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are often given as examples of "open" education. MOOCs have grown in popularity over the last decade, and major providers include Coursera, EdX and Khan Academy. In the UK, FutureLearn (a platform co-founded by the Open University) have partnered with a range of UK Universities to offer online courses. 

But while MOOCs are typically free for users to participate in, there may be charges for certification. Also the content of MOOCs normally remains the property of the organisation offering the course, and cannot be repurposed or adapted by another educator. 

Are MOOCs Open Educational Resources? is an interesting exploration of the various models of MOOCs and how they can be viewed from an open educational perspective.