Online Educational Resources And How Are They Different

What Are Online Educational Resources?

Educational resources apply to both human and cultural materials used in an academic setting. The goal is to promote school management and ease the teaching-learning process.

However, as technology advances, online training tools are made to support those interested in learning.

What are online educational resources? Online educational resources are any resources accessible on the Internet. They can be an HTML record such as lecture notes, assignments, courses, or chapter goals. They also may be audio or video lectures, immersive activities, or tests.

Online educational resources, or OER, are digital technologies that let you personalize the overall learning experience. Learn more about OER and its benefits when you read this post.

Online Educational Resources

Online educational resources are instructions or learning materials that are in either the public or private domain. They can also be published under a license that requires them to be widely accessed, updated, or shared with others.

OER can include anything from a single video or lesson plan to a fully online course or program. Some have software systems required to develop, alter, and distribute materials.

Thus, open instructional tools are learning and teaching materials that are either available under open licenses or are in the public domain.

Open educational resources are produced and contributed by curricula authors, administrators, school districts, and curricula partners.

They also mean that teachers can easily choose resources, combine them, or tweak them with few other resources. The goal is to build customized personal teaching resources. Also, several OER have already been mapped to specifications.

The Difference Between OER and Other Online Materials

Many of the materials billed as OER do not technically fall into this group. For example, a video with a Creative Commons license is not open.

Instead, the arrangement may allow it to be widely used but not updated or re-used, following the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development OER’s 2015.

Other materials are allowed for collaboration and alteration but only within the scope of a paying subscription plan. These are not OER either.

This does not mean that OER needs to be fully non-profit-making. Some businesses sell structured playlists or other bundles of materials for a fee to make ongoing OER initiatives sustainable.

Other ventures, such as the YouTube SciShow collection, encourage donations by sponsoring websites.

Benefits of Using OER

OER has also been shown to improve student learning while removing the obstacles of affordability and usability.

During 2012, a research study was conducted in which OER was carried out in nine separate courses in the Department of Commerce.

Researchers observed that students in classes that used OER more often had higher grades and lower rejection and withdrawal rates than those in courses that did not have OER.

  • Extended access to education. Students everywhere in the world can access OER at any time, and they can access the content frequently.

  • Continuously improved resources. OER can be changed easily by direct user editing or by asking for and integrating user input in comparison to textbooks and other static sources of information.

    Instructors can take existing OER, modify it to a class, and make the adapted OER accessible for use by others.

  • Scalability. OER is easy to spread freely at little or no expense.

  • Increased in-class materials. OER can complement textbooks and lectures when knowledge shortages are apparent.

  • Quick circulation. Information can be disseminated easily, especially when compared to information published in textbooks or journals. Fast availability of materials can improve the timeliness and/or importance of the material being presented.

  • Showcasing creativity and talent. A broad audience can learn about the priorities and skills of faculty study. Potential students and supporters will be impressed, and an attempt to attract students and faculty may be strengthened.

  • Bonds with graduates. OER offers graduates an ideal opportunity to remain linked to the university and continue the Lifelong Learning program.

  • Improvement of the daily material of the course. For example, text may be in the form of multimedia content such as videos. Presenting information in multiple formats can help students learn more quickly about the material being taught. 

Open Platforms and Open Educational Resources

You can create an online learning course that focuses on free educational materials. However, to be successful, you should have access to a range of resources available to the general public.

Various examples and types of open educational services are available. There are three key types of open educational tools. These are based on the level of accessibility provided by the Open Educational Resources website:

  • Platforms – Basic interactive platforms built to “do” OER.

  • Repositories – Libraries or collections of OER, typically established by a single organization.

  • Directories – These include a list of OER and connections to services accessible elsewhere on the network.

Tips for Finding Good OER

Sometimes, it’s a matter of choosing resources that fit the course. Is there a simple way to tell if you’re on the right track? Here are a few hints on choosing the best OER.


Trust your instincts and your training: If the material doesn’t seem to be fully reliable based on your experience, you may want to check it out or not use it at all.

Grammatical or typographical errors may not reflect the material’s consistency but maybe a red flag.


Use rubrics. Use a non-profit curriculum policy group that has established a framework that identifies successful OER. The eight headings’ purpose is to enhance evaluation and transparency.

Rubrics will help you assess how well the OER is compatible with the Common Core State Standards.


Just because you’ve Googled something doesn’t mean it’s true. Find legitimate writers and organizations whenever possible. Peer evaluations can be helpful.

Other open education programs provide OER tests to help you determine the content of the materials.


Avoid opting for licensed content that does not allow for changes. This is a clear indication that the developer lacks knowledge of how OER is supposed to function.

Yes, you can copy and paste the materials, but that’s not the point at all. OER’s real concept is to adjust and change content to suit your particular teaching goals and promote active learning.


OER’s goal is to enable students to learn at their speed and have easy access to all new information. This specific digital technology is essential for several reasons.

It offers you a chance to enhance education by switching from pricey, proprietary tools to more free, shareable ones.

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