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Open Educational Resources

Creative Commons Licenses

An image of six Creative Commons licenses and their permissions. The "CC" appears in black letters against a white background, in a black circle, in each box. The individual permissions (BY, NC, SA, ND) also appear as black symbols against a white background, in a black circle.

(photo credit: Pixabay)

When creators and authors of OER make their work open, they typically use Creative Commons licenses to set the terms of how their work may be reused. 

BY - Users must attribute the original author (all CC licenses have a -BY requirement, except for items in the public domain). 

SA - Share Alike. Any revisions or remixes of the original material must be shared under the same Creative Commons license as the original.

NC - Non Commercial. Any reuse, revision or remixes of the original work cannot be sold for commercial purposes.

ND - No Derivatives. No remixes or revisions of the original work are permitted. 

More information about the licenses and their permissions may be found at Creative Commons.

What is OER?

Rajiv Jhangiani of Kwantlen Polytechnic University gives a brief explanation of Open Educational Resources, their purpose and how they work (CC-BY). 

The 5 R's: How OERs Work

A grid displaying the 5'Rs of Open by David Wiley. Each "R" appears in its own dark blue box on the left side of the grid. The specific permissions for each "R" are written out in corresponding gray boxes on the right side of the grid.

The 5 "Rs," or permissions, as outlined by David Wiley, enable creators to set the terms for how their work can be used by others. Pay attention to the permissions the creator has given for the work you want to use, which often are noted in the Creative Commons license (see the "Creative Commons" box for more information). And if you're considering making your work open, consider what permissions you want others to have. 

Source: Wiley, D. (2014, March 5). The access compromise and the 5th "R". Retrieved from

Learn More About OER