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What are Open Educational Resources (OERs)?

Lernet, CC-BY-SA

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation.

For example, if you are interested in learning about aeronautical engineering from a science whiz at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), you can check out lecture notes and videos from MIT courses.

The Vision for a Health OER Network in Africa is an OER initiative started by experts in health science institutions across Africa to openly share health education materials. These materials are used by health professionals in Africa to enhance their knowledge and training, as well as by students and educators around the world.

Another OER started by the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands includes courses on clean water technology for developing countries. These resources have been updated by universities in South Africa, Singapore, the Antilles and Indonesia to include information on water treatment processes from their regions, making a collaborative resource on drinking water engineering available online to anyone who wishes to learn more.

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