Open Educational Resources (OER)

Do you want to publish educational resources or teaching materials? Then read below what you need to consider to avoid any violation of the creator’s copyright.

What are teaching materials?

Teaching materials are “any materials that a teacher may use in teaching and learning situations to help students archive desired learning objectives.”[1] These materials may include text, image or video but also other materials and forms. All teaching materials are subject to copyright.

Teaching materials may be made available under a general free licence. They then become ‘open’. The most important feature of open teaching materials is that they:

  • are digitally available and free to use;
  • are available publicly;
  • have been provided with a licence making their (re)use and distribution possible.

Educational institutions are both users and creators of (open) teaching materials.

How to recognise and where to find open teaching materials?

Open teaching materials can be recognised by a user licence, for instance a Creative Commons (CC)-licence. For more information about the various types of CC-licences, see the Quick reference guide for finding terms of use.

Websites where you can find open teaching materials include edsourcesWikiWijs, Merlot and OER Commons.

Check whether the (re)use of the teaching materials is permitted

Pay attention to the terms of use if you use third-party materials. For more information about terms of use, also see the Quick reference guide for finding terms of use.

Publish your own teaching materials with a CC-licence

If you have developed learning materials as part of your employment, the copyright usually lies with your employer. In that case you need permission to distribute or make the material available to others via a CC-licence. Visit the Creative Commons website to find out how to allocate a licence to your work. For instance, deposit it in the repository of your institution or through a national or international repository.

Acknowledgement of sources

Correct acknowledgement of sources is always mandatory when you use other people’s material. Do you want find out how to do this correctly? Then read The APA guidelines explained.

Questions? get in touch with your Copyright Information Point (AIP)

Do you have further questions about this quick reference guide? Please contact one of the members of staff at the Copyright Information Point (AIP) of your institution.





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Vuistregels Open Educational Resources (OER)
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Quick reference guide on Open Educational Resources
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