Open Educational Resources include unpublished resources such as unpublished conference papers, hand-outs, supervised projects that can be re-visited, re-purposed, re-used, commercialized, derivable, if permitted under open licenses which are internationally recognized, unlike published, copyright materials. This is why it is tagged ‘copy-free’ or copy-left materials.
OER are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and in some instances, re-purposing by others.
(Atkins, Brown & Hammond, 2007)
Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. (Hewlett Foundation).
BENEFITS OF OER
When OER are built into the academic tradition and sub-culture of an institution, it improves the brand, it sparks off a rise in webometric ranking; it gives a contributor visibility and recognition, it encourages a scholar to strive for publication of such article.
It also promotes high student enrolment and economically beneficial particular at the private university sector. OER is the common trend particularly in universities running ODL programs.