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Open Educational Resources

What is OER and why is it important?






Open Educational Resources are teaching, education, and research resources such as free textbooks, educational materials, audio and video lectures, exams, computer programs, and many other tools or technologies.

Open educational resources are available to all as a common public domain or in the public domain, allowing the distribution and modification of these resources and cooperation with others for reuse, even for commercial purposes, under special licenses.


Advantages of open educational resources

Open educational resources are distinguished from other educational resources that they are governed by a licensing system and intellectual property that is easy to use and adapt without the permission of the copyright owner. Open educational resources have the following advantages:
• Dissemination of the benefit of knowledge through the ability to directly access knowledge using a variety of digital formats, and multimedia.
• Supporting open education as a field.
• Benefiting from cultural and knowledge diversity to serve the objectives of education.
• The possibility of involving students in the course content.
• Since the modification and re-publishing of these sources is possible; there will be a permanent update of information and curricula.
• The possibility of benefiting for free from what educational institutions with a global reputation provide in terms of production of open educational resources, with quality and under the supervision of experts in various fields.
• Diversification and enrichment of sources.
• Save time and money.

Creative Commons and its license



Creative Commons is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, USA, that aims to expand the scope of creative work available for people to exploit and build upon in a manner consistent with the requirements of copy rights laws.
Knowing the sources of Creative Commons and how to use them in teaching helps faculty members take advantage of what is available on the Internet of innovations and knowledge, as well as legally share their creativity and knowledge to lead a new stage of development, growth and creativity.
Creative Commons has developed a set of six licenses that can be used when sharing work as per the terms of this license. Each license also details ways in which content can be used by others without the need for prior permission. Variations of a license consist of four controls for the permitted exploitation of the licensed work:

Licensees may copy, distribute, display, perform and make derivative works and remixes based on it only if they give the author or licensor the credits (attribution) in the manner specified by these. Since version 2.0, all Creative Commons licenses require attribution to the creator and include the BY element


Attribution (BY)

Licensees may distribute derivative works only under a license identical to ("not more restrictive than") the license that governs the original work. (See also copyleft.) Without share-alike, derivative works might be sublicensed with compatible but more restrictive license clauses, e.g. CC BY to CC BY-NC.)

غير التجاري

Share-alike (SA)

Licensees may copy, distribute, display, perform the work and make derivative works and remixes based on it only for non-commercial purposes.

بلا اشتقاق

Non-commercial (NC)

Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of the work, not derivative works and remixes based on it. Since version 4.0, derivative works are allowed but must not be shared.

الترخيص بالمثل

No derivative works (ND)



Note: All variations of the CC license require that the work be attributed to its original author



Where can I find open educational resources to use in my lectures?
First: Search engines and portals specialized in finding open educational resources, examples of which are:


Search EngineLink
Collection of Search Engines from Tidewater Community College    https://libguides.tcc.edu/faculty/OER/search-engines
Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange (GLOBE) Alliancewww.globeinfo.org
Creative Commons Searchhttp://search.creativecommons.org
Open Courseware Consortiumwww.ocwconsortium.org/courses/search
OER Commons hub: A Hub is a custom resource center on OER Commons where groups can create and share collections associated with a project or organization. Projects, institutions, states and initiatives make use of Hubs to bring groups of educators together to create, organize, and share collections that meet their common goals    https://www.oercommons.org/hubs
OER Commons for Arabic resourceshttps://arabic.oercommons.org/EN/
More than 150000 OERSolvonauts.org



Second: Repositories of open educational resources and repositories of educational items.

Many educational institutions offer repositories that can be accessed and benefited from and search within them, examples of which are:

Educational institutionsLink
vectoria universityhttps://libraryguides.vu.edu.au/OpenEducationResources/OERsources
Collection of  repositories  from Tidewater Community College    https://libguides.tcc.edu/faculty/OER/archives
MedEd PORTAL(http://services.aamc.org/30/mededportal (medical focus
MIT OCWhttp://ocw.mit.edu
China Open Resources for Education (CORE)   www.core.org.cn/en
AgEcon Search(http://ageconsearch.umn.edu (agricultural focus
Teacher Education in sub-Saharan Africawww.tessafrica.net


Third: assembler of guides for open educational resources

Some sites provide the ability to search for open educational resources so that the result of the search directs you to the location of an educational component in other sites and thus facilitates 


Search EngineLink
OER Commonswww.oercommons.org
Commonwealth of Learningwww.col.org/OER
OER Africawww.oerafrica.org
Open dataOpendata.paris.fr
 dati piemontewww.dati.piemonte.it
dati www.dati.gov.it
data overheidwww.data.overheid.n


Fourth: Search for specialized groups on social networking sites and participate in them

Searching for specialized groups on social networking sites and subscribing to them, for example:



Fifth: How can I produce and share with others an open learning component?

There are many sites that specialize in helping you produce an open educational component with a license of your choice and then share it with others, examples of which are:

a. Open Author website:

The site provides the possibility to produce an open educational component and then share it. For more, visit the site  https://www.oercommons.org/authoring-overview#module-section

Watch the following video

b. Using edx Studio :
The website https://www.edx.org is considered one of the most important open educational resources on the Internet. It was established by the Massachusetts Institute in cooperation with Harvard University in 2012 with the purpose of presenting educational lectures at the university level in many fields of science and publishing them around the world in English other languages added later. Participation in it is free and it works to reconcile teaching and scientific research, about 1.3 million students from different countries of the world using edx. Each of the two institutes spends 30 million US dollars to continue providing this educational program, which is offered on the Internet for free. The site provides a program specialized in the production, management and dissemination of open educational resources. Free training materials on how to use the mentioned software are available by visiting the link:

Watch the following video:

c. You can share your open educational resources in specialized databases of open educational resources, where many databases allow the ability to add your open educational items to be part of what is available on their databases, examples:

Educational ResourceExample
Learning Object North Carolina    https://explorethelor.org/


Build the OER online: It is also possible to build a resource online. A few sites encourage development of OER within their online environments. They can then automate processes such as acquiring a Creative Commons license and adding the resource to the database.