Open educational resources (OERs) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are created with the intention of being freely available to users anywhere. They may include, but are not limited to, textbooks, readings, multi-media files, software, assessment tools, and even entire courses. Most are covered by licenses that allow for using, re-mixing, and sharing.
Creative Commons (CC) is an internationally active, non-profit organization that provides free licenses for creators to use so they can make their work available to the public. These licenses allow the creator to give permission for others to use their work under certain conditions.
Every time a work is created, such as when a journal article is written or a photograph taken, that work is automatically protected by copyright. Copyright protection prevents others from using the work in certain ways, such as copying the work or putting the work online.
CC licenses allow the creator of the work to select how they want others to use the work. When a creator releases their work under a CC license, members of the public know what they can and can’t do with the work. This means that they only need to seek the creator’s permission when they want to use the work in a way not permitted by the license.
The great thing is that all CC licenses allow works to be used for educational purposes. As a result, teachers, and students can freely copy, share and sometimes modify and remix a CC work, without having seeking the permission of the creator.
Content on this page is adapted from Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Open Textbooks LibGuide by the CAUL/CBUA Scholarly Communications Committee
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License