Open Educational Resources (OER) refers to freely accessible content, digital or otherwise, that can be used for teaching and learning -- lesson plans, textbooks, lecture notes and videos, and even full courses. In order to be considered OER, content must be openly licensed, allowing for a wide variety of uses. While licensing agreements vary, most OER allows for the following, known as the “Five Rs”:
David A. Wiley, a pioneer of the Open Educational Resources movement, is chief academic officer of Lumen Learning, Education Fellow at Creative Commons, and former adjunct faculty of instructional psychology & technology at Brigham Young University where he was previously an associate professor. (Source: Wikipedia)
OER has its challenges--for example, ensuring that content that anyone can edit is accurate (Wikipedia is a great example). However, it also has many benefits for students, instructors, librarians, and researchers:
Catholic University belongs to the Washington Research Library Consortium, a group of 11 local institutions that partner to combine their resources and expertise.
The Catholic University of America is a member of the Open Education Network, a community of colleges and universities that has joined together to advance the use of open educational resources and practices.