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A guide to Open Educational Resources for Surry Community College faculty


Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with intellectual property licenses that facilitate the free use, adaptation and distribution of resources.

Open Educational Resources are often described with the Five Rs:

  • Retain - keep a copy with no restrictions
  • Reuse - use for a variety of purposes
  • Revise - edit, modify, adapt
  • Remix - mashup to create a new work
  • Redistribute - share the content

Authors give these permissions upfront using Creative Commons licenses that exist on top of copyright.

Adapted from "Defining the "Open" in Open Content and Open Educational Resources" by David Wiley is licensed under CC BY 4.0


Open Educational Resources (OERs) are educational materials and resources that are publicly accessible. OERs are openly available for anyone to use which are under Creative Commons licenses to re-mix, improve and redistribute.

OERs include:

  • Learning content: textbooks, full courses, course material, content modules, learning objects, collections, and journals.
  • Tools: software to support the creation, delivery, use and improvement of open learning content including searching and organization of content, content and learning management systems, content development tools, and online learning communities.
  • Implementation resources: Intellectual property licenses to promote open publishing of materials, design-principles, and localization of content.

What is OER? Why is it Important?

A simple and thorough introduction to open educational resources geared towards faculty in higher education. This video does an outstanding job of outlining what OER is, why to use OER, how to use OER, and where to find OER. Created by Lance Eaton from Brandeis University.



In 2007, the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) initiated openNCCC, an Open Educational Resource (OER) collaboration platform.

Its purpose is to offer an infrastructure that provides high-quality OER content and the opportunity for collaboration around the adaptation, evaluation, and instructional needs of faculty and learners.