Open Educational Resources 101: Unveiling Their Potential

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In this article, we will understand the meaning of open educational resources, their different types, and how to use them. Let’s get started.

What are open educational resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER) encompass a broad range of freely accessible materials utilized for learning and teaching purposes. These resources, which can take various formats such as textbooks and videos, are made available on a public domain under an open license.

The significance of this open access lies in the freedom to use, reuse, share, and even repurpose these resources. OER empowers educators and learners by providing unrestricted access to high-quality educational materials, fostering collaboration, innovation, and knowledge sharing across diverse learning communities.

What do you mean by open educational resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER) refer to freely available online resources designed for educational purposes, such as free courses, tutorials, images, books, and textbooks. These resources are accessible to any user and are typically uploaded to a public domain. OER encompasses a wide range of formats that can be utilized without any cost, enabling individuals to engage in learning without financial barriers. By familiarizing yourself with the concept of OER, you gain a broader understanding of the valuable educational materials that are readily available at no expense.

What are the types of open educational resources?

There are many types of open education resources, and we are going to discuss some of these types here:

1- Learning modules


Learning modules are online courses designed in a logical, sequential order to guide students or learners towards achieving a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.

These modules include various educational resources such as text, files, tests, quizzes, assignments, links, and discussions. Certain learning modules are designed to ensure student progress by requiring completion of specific tasks or assessments, such as finishing course content or taking quizzes, before allowing access to the next lesson.

Once these requirements are fulfilled, students can advance to the subsequent lessons, promoting a structured and effective learning experience.

2- Open textbooks.

Open textbooks are books available for free reading or downloading from the internet. Universities often publish these books, or individuals upload them to a free domain to assist others.

Either way, it is a helpful way to learn and increase your knowledge.

 3- Open access journals.

This type of open resource education refers to the research journals and articles that are available online for free. By using this type of resource, you can do the research you were asked to do in college, or learn from it and use it to gain more knowledge about something that interests you.

4- Online tutorials.

Online tutorials are videos and materials that are made for the purpose of self-study learning. They can be delivered through a course management system, the internet, or DVDs. And there are two types of online tutorials that are used for open educational resources, and they are:

Recorded tutorials: recorded tutorials are video recordings of an expert explaining something or giving a demonstration.

Interactive tutorials: they are organized in a structured way as you can navigate through pages, or on the same page you will find a collection of videos, texts, images, and so on.

What is the role of open educational resources?

The main important thing about open educational resources is that they are free for everyone, they can be used to gain all the information you need. It’s really helpful to students and helps them in their learning journey. Here are some of its roles in our lives:

  •       Free to use.
  •       Can access anything you want at any time.
  •       Help students make plans for their education.

Which resource is an example of OER?

There are many examples of OER (open educational resources), and they can be accessed at any time and can be shared with others easily. So, here are some examples of it.

  •       Online courses.
  •       Videos.
  •       Audio.
  •       Presentation slides.
  •       Course outlines.
  •       Textbooks.
  •       Tutorials.
  •       Images.

How is OER used in the classroom?

Instructors or teachers can use open resource materials effectively to enhance students’ understanding. For example, a teacher can explain an experiment and then show a video of someone performing the experiment. Or teach them about how a machine works then show them videos to make students understand better. People tend to remember visuals more than text. As a teacher, you will find many free resources that could be valuable to students. Additionally, you can edit the OER as much as you want and share it with them.

How do you identify open educational resources?

We defined open-access educational resources as OER, which encompass materials that are freely usable, shareable, downloadable, editable, and more.

These resources can take various formats, such as textbooks, videos, audio, images, recordings, or any other material necessary for teaching and learning, and they are all provided free of charge.


Here are the characteristics of OER According to Schaffert & Geser, 2008 & OLCOS Roadmap, 2012:

  1. Open Access: Content is provided free of charge for educational institutions, content services, and users such as teachers, students, and lifelong learners.
  2. Open Format: Content is produced in an open format with functionalities that allows for easy re-use.
  3. Open License: Liberal licenses to enable re-use to combine and re-purposing of content.
  4. Open Software: Produced with open-source software.

Let’s Simplify

To simplify things, you can think of OER falling into the category of either content or tools:

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Manaarah is an experienced team of instructional designers who have designed and built, Manaarah to help schools, universities, and companies with their learning and training programs. Our wide range of educational services and training services can provide you high standard mentorship for the development of instruction manuals

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OER (Open Education Resources) are free materials used for teaching and learning, available in various formats like textbooks, videos, and more. They are uploaded on a public domain under an open license, enabling free use, reuse, sharing, and repurposing.

According to Schaffert & Geser (2008) and OLCOS Roadmap (2012), OER have characteristics like open access, open format, open license, and open software. Simplifying further, OER can be categorized as content or tools. Examples of OER include online courses, videos, audio, presentation slides, course outlines, textbooks, tutorials, and images.

In conclusion, Open Educational Resources (OER) revolutionize education by providing free, accessible, and adaptable materials that empower learners and educators worldwide, fostering a culture of knowledge sharing and continuous learning.

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