Activity: Is this an OER?

You can view this activity as a downloadable Google Doc. You can also view the full OER Starter Kit Workbook, which includes multiple additional activities.[1]

If a resource is not openly licensed, it cannot be described as an OER. Therefore, those working with OER need to know how to evaluate which materials are OER. Those looking to reduce the cost of materials for students also need to distinguish between free online resources under copyright with all rights reserved, books and articles available through Library subscriptions, open access books and articles, or materials that have been uploaded and violate copyright.

Remember: only materials with CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, CC-BY-SA, or CC-BY-NC-SA licenses are OER.

Is this resource OER, freely available online, a Library resource, or open access?

Look at the materials linked below. What type of materials is each? Is it openly licensed? Is it freely available? Is it modifiable?


What will humans eat on Mars?

This website is a free online resource under all rights reserved copyright. It is not openly licensed. It is freely available. It is not modifiable.

  1. In the workplace: An intermediate integrated textbook


  2. Child growth and development


  3. Methods in computational biology


  4. Food cultures of the world encyclopedia


  5. Facing Mount Kenya


  6. Digital foundations: Introduction to media design with the Adobe Creative Cloud, Revised Edition


  7. Oldways: Cultural food traditions


  8. Free will beliefs are better predicted by dualism than determinism beliefs across different cultures


  9. Basic techniques in Microbiology: Preparation of sterile media


  10. Smarthistory


  11. For Apollo 11 he wasn’t on the moon. But his coffee was warm.

  1. Attribution: “Is this an OER?” by Stacy Katz and Abbey Elder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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OER and Alternative Textbook Handbook Copyright © 2020 by Ariana Santiago is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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