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Open Educational Resources (OER)

This guide offers an overview of OER, open licensing, and will help you to locate and evaluate open resources to use in your courses or as supplementary material.

Creative Commons Licensing

What are Creative Commons Licenses?

Creative Commons (CC) is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2001 with support from the Center for the Public Domain. Its goal is to help people take full advantage of the internet's capability for aiding in the dissemination of information, which they have done largely through the provision of open licenses. 

In December 2002, the first of these licenses were released, which began providing authors with legal backbone for openly sharing their works. Today, Creative Commons licenses have become perhaps the most widely used open licenses for Open Educational Resources (OER). Under the terms of the licenses, the copyright holders still retain their copyrights. However, with these free tools they are able to grant usage rights to the public. The licenses offer creators an array of choices with regards to the permissions they will grant to others. 

Simultaneously, these licenses provide users with legal permission to use the resources, without fear of copyright infringement so long as they abide by the terms set forth. The terms are dictated in easy-to-understand terms, removing much of the ambiguity that can typically accompany such legal notices. 

Spectrum of Creative Commons Licensing

Spectrum of open licenses 

Adapted from “'Creative commons license spectrum” by Shaddim under CC BY 4.0

Creative Commons Resources

Creative Commons Attribution

Choosing a Creative Commons License