Open Educational Resources (OER)

3. The 5 Rs of Openness

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Before describing Open Educational Resources, it is important to recognize what "open" means and how it is described.  What does it mean for a learning resource to be open?
There are two conditions (Green, 2016, April 1) that should guide your determination as to whether or not an item is considered "open":
  1. Do you have "free and unfettered access" to the resource? If you have to pay to retain or use a resource, it isn't open.
  2. Is use of the resource governed by David Wiley's 5Rs of Openness permissions?

Global Open Educational Resources Movement by Cable Green is licensed under CC-BY From the University of Alberta
To openly use a resource, you have to have retention rights. Simply being able to access an item for free does not mean that you can keep a copy for yourself.  If you can't keep a copy, you likely won't be able to perform any of the other actions associated with the 5Rs: reuse, revise, etc. When in doubt about an item's terms of use, ask yourself if it is free and if it meets all of the above criteria; if it doesn't meet these conditions, it's not open.