Open Educational Resources (OERs)

What are OERs?

Open Educational Resources are freely available teaching and learning materials which the author has licensed in an open format to allow others to re-use and adapt. They can include lecture notes and slides, handouts given to students, online tutorials, diagrams or even an entire Moodle course. In many cases the author has assigned a Creative Commons licence to the resource indicating that it can be used freely.


JISC define OERs as:



…teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an instructor, student or self-learner. Examples of OER include: full courses, course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.



Meanwhile, UNESCO have recognised the value of OERs arguing that they ‘provide a strategic opportunity to improve the quality of education as well as facilitate policy dialogue, knowledge sharing and capacity building.’ (UNESCO, 2012)



OER Initatives


There are a number of significant gloabl OER initiatives including MIT’s OpenCourse Ware initiative and the Open University’s OpenLearn. You can also find OERs from around the world on the OER Commons website.




In August 2010 LSE received funding from JISC and the Higher Education Academy for the DELILA project. This project was to convert teaching materials from the CLT’s digital literacy programme as well as a selection of Information Literacy resources from LSE Library into OER format. It also led to the establishment of a dedicated database, LSE Learning Resources Online to store these materials. Following on from this project, the team are keen to encourage any LSE teachers to deposit their teaching materials that they wish to share in the new repository.




How can you get involved?


If you would like to deposit any of your teaching materials in the new LSE Learning Resources Online collection then please contact the team in the Library.


If you are looking to find open educational resources to inspire your own teaching then we suggest you start by browsing the UK learning resources database Jorum. A list of OER initiatives is also available from the JISC OER Infokit website. You can also find material licensed under Creative Commons Licences from the CC search service .