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Open Education

This guide provides an overview of open education, including information and resources related to open access, open data, open educational resources, and open pedagogy.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open educational resources (OER) are "teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use" (SPARC).

5Rs of Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources describe any copyrightable work that is either in the public domain or licensed in a manner that provides everyone with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities.


make, own, and control a copy of the resource (e.g. download and keep your own copy)


edit, adapt, and modify your copy of the resource (e.g. translate into another language)


combine your original or revised copy of the resource with other existing material to create something new (e.g. make a mashup)


use your original, revised, or remixed copy of the resource publicly (e.g. on a website, in a presentation, in a class)


share copies of your original, revised, or remixed copy of the resource with others (e.g. post a copy online or give one to a friend)

Open Textbooks

Open textbooks are free, online learning materials with Creative Commons licenses. Many of the collections will have links to the same books, but each will have a particular focus, including items you can't find in other collections.

Open Repositories

OER repositories contain more than just open textbooks. Learning materials in these collections include full courses, syllabi, images, presentations, videos, simulations, and additional resource types.

Open Images

The sources listed here have images and photos that can be downloaded for free with no or limited restrictions.


This page has been adapted from Michigan State University (MSU) Libraries OER Program Guide. Michigan State University (MSU) Libraries OER Program Guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Material in "5Rs of Open Educational Resources" is an adaptation of Defining the "Open" in Open Content and Open Educational Resources, which was originally written by David Wiley and published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at